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La sfida (1958)

Vito Polara is a young ambitious man from the slums of Naples, who wants to get as much power and money as possible. He decides to quit smuggling cigarettes and tries to take over the local... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 4 more credits »
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5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Assunta
... Vito Polara
... Gennaro
Decimo Cristiani ... Raffaele
Tina Castigliano ... Madre di Vito
Pasquale Cennamo ... Salvatore Ajello
Elsa Valentino Ascoli ... Madre di Assunta
... Ferdinando Ajello
Nello Ascoli
Salvatore Cafiero
Guido Cante
Gennaro Di Napoli
Elsa Fiore
Ferdinando Gerra
Ubaldo Granata ... Califano
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Storyline

Vito Polara is a young ambitious man from the slums of Naples, who wants to get as much power and money as possible. He decides to quit smuggling cigarettes and tries to take over the local fruit and vegetable distribution, which is considered more profitable. After challenging the rural crime boss of the local Camorra, Vito becomes part of his gang and soon his life changes. He moves to a new luxurious seaside apartment and plans to start a family with the beautiful Assunta. At their wedding party, however, and later on, he's about to see who the real boss is. Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

8 September 1958 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The Challenge  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Featured in Il cineasta e il labirinto (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Respectable first feature from a major director.
26 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Rosi, later director of SALVATORE GIULIANO and the Gian Maria Volonte thrillers, is running up to speed here but the strong use of location - Naples tenements contrasted to the farming community - makes him an interesting link between the Neo Realists and the political thriller lot of the seventies, Damiano and the rest.

Suarez, the lead, switches from cigarette smuggling to vegetables, forming an uneasy alliance with the rural crime Don. We know he's going to get his but before that happens he's paired with Schiafino among the laundry drying on the roof, so that their mothers can argue whether she's an under age innocent or the local slut, and moved her into a bay view flat. Some suspense builds with in the final drive back to the city.

Compare this one with the similar themed American JUKE GIRL and THIEVES' HIGHWAY.

The technicians are excellent, with Di Venanzo's total focus look evident here before his Antonioni successes made him famous.


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