The widow Rosaria moves to Milano from Lucania with her 4 sons, one of whom is Rocco. The fifth son, Vincenzo, already lives in Milano. In the beginning, the family has a lot of problems, but everyone manages to find something to do. Simone is boxing, Rocco works in a dry cleaners, and Ciro studies. Simone meets Nadia, a prostitute, and they have a stormy affair. Then Rocco, after finishing his military service, begins a relationship with her. A bitter feud ensues between the two brothers, which will lead as far as murder...Written by
Kornel Osvart <email@example.com>
Rocco's a saint, but what can he do in this world? He won't defend himself. He's so forgiving. But one mustn't always forgive.
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Originally released at 180 minutes in Italy. Local censorship forced director Visconti to cut a few sequences (including scenes from Nadia's rape); the film was subsequently shortened even more for foreign distribution. Director of photography Giuseppe Rotunno has prepared a restored full version, which has been re-released in 1991. See more »
Visconti at his peak. We are in the fifties, when Italian economy experiences a post-war boom. A Sicilian family arrives to Milan running from south's poverty. They dream with a new life at the industrial pole of the north. But Milan is not precisely a land of opportunities. Exploitation and xenophobia is the common destiny for those who came from south of the country. This film is a perfect sequel to "La Terra Tembla", one of the earliest Visconti's looks on Marxism. The hopes and lives of this five brother's family sink onto a pit at the same time as they destroy themselves. "Rocco and ..." is intensely played by the entire cast, including a young and delicate Alain Delon as the idealistic Rocco, an exquisite Annie Girardot as a prostitute trying to survive to her own hell and a terrific Renato Salvatori. But is the figure of the peasant mother, played superbly by Katina Paxinou, the most remarkable piece of this operatic story. Claudia Cardinale made some kind of Italian debut in this film. Nino Rota composes his most pitiful score and the black and white photography is stunning. The scene at the rooftop of Milan's Duomo is one of my all-time favorites. The American version is usually cut so try to find the original or some DVD restoration. A must see film.
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