In 1941 an Italian regiment known as the Savoy Cavalry is sent by Mussolini to Russia to assist the German invasion. After crossing an extensive area of Soviet territory the men arrive at a... See full summary »
Francesco De Robertis
Lone survivor, doctor Robert Neville, struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race while fighting The Family, a savage luddite death cult formed by the zombie-like infected to erase the past.
When some priceless Macedonian treasures are swiped, lawyer Falk arrives to get to the bottom of things. He spends a good deal of time dodging more bad guys than in the average film, but ... See full summary »
Anna Zaccheo is a beautiful young woman from a working class Neapolitan family. Her main concern is to find herself a suitable husband. She meets a young sailor Andrea one day and gets ... See full summary »
Immediately after the war, a truck on which the newlyweds Michele and Giovanna travel, and the accountant of an agricultural cooperative, charged with bringing four million lire into office, was assaulted by a handful of bandits.
Giuseppe De Santis
Carla Del Poggio
The plot is set in an underdeveloped and remote area of a fictitious country, where the locals try to build an asphalt road in spite of careless attitude of the Government. The story ... See full summary »
During the summer of 1941, Germany and its European allies invade the Soviet Union. Fascist Italy participates at the invasion. The first trains carrying Italian soldiers arrive in the Soviet Union during grain-harvest season. The Soviet Army withdrew during the initial German onslaught that spearheaded the invasion. The newly arrived Italian soldiers wonder at the size of the Soviet countryside that seems to never end. The soldiers also notice the Soviets withdrew so fast that many fields have not been harvested yet. Fields of wheat, sunflower and corn glow golden under the bright summer sun. The Italians attempt to make friends with the Soviet civilians whom they meet at various stopping points along the way. But the civilians are scared of the invaders and rightfully so. The German troops have already passed through, terrorizing the Soviet populace. The Italian soldiers even try to share their bread rations with the civilians and they try to cheer the Russians up by singing a ...Written by
Most folks don't know that the Italians had over 80,000 troops in Russia during WWII, and fewer know that most of them died or were captured during the retreat in the dead of winter from Stalingrad.
This movie does an excellent job of showing the life of an (any) average soldier in any army- the grunts, the footsloggers, the cannon fodder. The few officers shown (the exception being the colonel in charge of the unit) are far from heroic, being either cowards or incompetents.
Shot in stark black and white, this movie personalizes war in a way that hagiography's such as "Patton" or extravaganza's like "The Longest Day" absolutely failed to do. If anything, this is like a (much) shorter version of "A Band Of Brothers"- it is that good.
As stated by other commentators, nothing good happens to anyone in this movie- it is real-life film noir. Good, bad, indifferent, everybody suffers. This is what a war movie made by, if not Jules Dassin or Robert Siodmak, than Richard Fleischner or Felix Feist would look like.
It is not all gloom and doom however. The scenes which take place during the advance through the Ukraine in the spring and summer are light, and reveal the soldiers attitude of "What are we doing here?" and contrasts them well with the occasional appearance of a Nazi official or an officer of the Wehrmacht.
For those interested, read "Few Returned" by Eugenio Corti, an Italien officer who was one of the few to escape the destruction of the Italian Expeditionary Force on the steppes of Russia, and for an Italian's view of their erstwhile "ally", I recommend "Kaput" by Curzio Malaparte, an Italian journalist who witnessed at first hand the savagery of the Nazi occupation in Poland and points east.
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