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Bitter Rice (1949)

Riso amaro (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 September 1950 (USA)
Two criminals on the run end up working in a rice field and decide to recruit other workers for their next robbery.

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(story), (story) | 7 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Walter (as Vittorio Gassmann)
...
Francesca
...
...
Marco
Checco Rissone ...
Aristide
Nico Pepe ...
Beppe
Adriana Sivieri ...
Celeste
Lia Corelli ...
Amelia
Maria Grazia Francia ...
Gabriella
Dedi Ristori ...
Anna
Anna Maestri ...
Irene
Mariemma Bardi ...
Gianna
Maria Capuzzo ...
Giulia
Isabella Marincola ...
Rosa (as Isabella Zennaro)
Carlo Mazzarella ...
Gianetto
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Storyline

Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder. Written by Laura Ernestina Ruberto <lruberto@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An earthy drama of human passions among women rice workers in the Po Valley. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bitter Rice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucia Bosé was the director's first choice for the role of Silvana. It wasn't until he met Silvana Mangano by chance that he decided to cast her in the film. De Santis also wanted Mangano to appear in his next picture Under the Olive Tree (1950) but when she got pregnant, she was replaced by Bosé. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Do the Peasant Boogie-Woogie
24 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

This film is set in the rice fields of Northern Italy where Doris Dowling (Francesca) has joined a band of illegal female workers. However, she is also carrying some stolen jewellery and she is biding her time until her partner-in-crime Vittorio Gassman (Walter) turns up, if he turns up at all. For Gassman is currently on the run from the police. Also working in the rice fields is Silvana Mangano who knows what Dowling is carrying….

The story is interesting in that it is set somewhere different and shot on location. It also has a beginning that grips you. Unfortunately, the acting isn't particularly good and Dowling and Mangano portray a very unconvincing relationship with each other. Much praise is given to Silvana Mangano - I assume for being good looking in the eyes of some – and whilst she may like giving it jazz hands and exhibiting her dance routine, she needed to be given some acting lessons. Worst offender is the woman who breaks down screaming in the middle of the fields. What was that about? It's just hysterical nonsense. This scene comes after a rather amusing whipping scene.

The film could have taken some interesting directions at the end, and that is what we watch for. I'm afraid we get let down by a predictably melodramatic ending full of clichés. I found it all rather disappointing after a good start to the film where we are drawn into a chase and given some tense scenes. The film is part of the Italian Neorealism genre but I didn't see any Italian ice-cream so it's not that realistic. And no-one said "Mamma mia!" or, thankfully, "Pronto!"


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