Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however.Written by
Doug Shafer <email@example.com>
In a television interview ("Vivement Dimanche Prochain", France 2, 17 April 2005) Brigitte Fossey, who played the little Paulette, revealed that the film had originally been shot as a short, and then it was later decided to extend it into a feature film. Unfortunately she had lost her milk teeth and Georges Poujouly (who plays the boy Michel) had had his hair cut to play in Nous sommes tous des assassins (1952). So, in many scenes of the movie Paulette has false teeth and Michel is wearing a wig. See more »
Paulette's mother can be seen moving after she has supposedly been killed in the bombing. The movements are especially noticeable in the closeups. See more »
There are two alternate opening credits:The main credit starts with a story book and a female hand opens the book to reveal the credits. The alternate still has the same book but this time we are introduced to the two main characters who are sitting by a lake. In this version, Michel's hand is turning the page and in between the scenes he tells Paulette that he's going to tell a story. See more »
Never has the world of adults seemed so utterly stupid, brutal and senseless than through the eyes of two innocent children who have to deal with pain, loss, death and war. And yet, the film is gentle, subtle, inobtrusive in its portrayal of the grown-up's follies, and refreshingly unsentimental about presenting the pain and beauty of childhood.
Few other titles come to mind in which child actors have so much to bear, and they manage it effortlessly & unforgettably.
[The only thing that bothers me is the too convincing 'acting' of the dead /?/ dog...]
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