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La schiava del peccato (1954)

Following a rail disaster, a prostitute takes in an orphan but will have to fight to obtain the right to adopt her.


Oreste Biancoli (story), Aldo De Benedetti (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Silvana Pampanini ... Mara Gualtieri
Franco Fabrizi ... Carlo
Camillo Pilotto ... Il commissario Agnelli
Liliana Gerace Liliana Gerace ... Elena
Olinto Cristina Olinto Cristina ... The Hotel Manager in Florence
Dina Perbellini Dina Perbellini ... La signora Cesira
Paul Muller ... Il viaggiatore polacco
Miranda Campa Miranda Campa ... The Mother Superior
Renato Vicario Renato Vicario ... Il marito di Dina
Laura Gore Laura Gore ... The Maid at 'Pensione Iris'
Adriana Danieli Adriana Danieli ... The Polish Passenger
Checco Durante Checco Durante ... A Friend of Carlo
Turi Pandolfini Turi Pandolfini ... Registrar Di Marco
Giorgio Capecchi Giorgio Capecchi ... The Man Who harasses Mara Gualtieri
Maria Grazia Sandri Maria Grazia Sandri ... Dina at 7 (as Maria Grazia Materzanini)


1950s, Mara a young prostitute travels by train with a foreign couple and their little girl. But a terrible collision with a freight train kills the parents. Mara takes the little one with her. She would like to adopt him but her social condition prevents her. She places the girl in an orphanage run by nuns, and decides to leave her current life, even if it means earning less money and working in exhausting conditions. She also gets rid of Carlo, a kind of small-scale pimp. Mara is having a hard time finding a job because the morality police continue to follow her. She appealed to the police commissioner who helped her place the girl in boarding school. This one finds him a job in a factory. But Mara's past emerges in the person of Giulio, her first love. The latter is convinced that the daughter Mara has is his daughter.

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User Reviews

From prostitution to saintliness
28 April 2010 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

This Italian movie faithfully follows the rules of melodrama and can be considered a minor success .So all these who love "Madame X" ,"The Old Maid" "Only yesterday" "To each his own" ,you could do worse than pick up this small gem of the genre.

Two trains collide :who said that rail was a safe mode of transport?A young Pole girl becomes an orphan and a semi-whore,and Mara (Silvanna Pampanini) would like to adopt her.Alas she lives a life of sin and she and the nuns who take care of the girlie are worlds apart.Soshe decides she would start over, leaving her pimp (Franco Fabrizi) behind and trying to get a job,which is no easy task.No sooner has she found work in a factory than her former lover (who gave her a child who died when she was young:hence her longing to have another one) turns up.He is played by Marcello Mastroianni who was supporting at the time.Of course he thinks that the new child is his own and as his wife cannot conceive...

This "slave to sin" (check the title) suffers ,suffers and suffers ;every time she seems to work it out,every time something happens .The movie is a long flashback told by an old woman who stole a medallion in the hotel where she works as a linen maid .

In the American melodrama ,the woman who reneges on her love (or on her/a child) often makes up for her painful experience with a happy one in business ("Only yesterday""Mildred Pierce" " imitation of life" "to each his own").The European melodrama (this movie,and French ones such as Ophuls's "Sans Lendemain" or Valentin's "L'Entraineuse" is rather on the "back street " side :the heroine has lead a life of sin so she must redeem her soul the hard way.

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Release Date:

8 May 1954 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Slave of Sin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Documento Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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