dir. Alberto Lattuada
Italy, France · 1954 · Colour · 102' · o.v. italian, subt. english
27 | 03 | 2021
Available from 8PM to 12PM worldwide local time
Anna Maria Mentorsi (Martine Carol) leaves for summer vacation in Liguria, after picking up her daughter Caterina (Anna Gabriella Pisani) from boarding school: on the train, she meets Silvio (Raf Vallone), an attractive young man who extols the beauty of Pontorno (of which he is actually the mayor), where she eventually chooses to stay. As she's forced to check into a luxury hotel (the only one with vacancies) and high society mistakes her for a distinguished widow, Anna Maria is in fact concealing a secret that makes her yearn for a new life, away from the city and with her daughter.
While falling prey to the censors because of the beachside beauties (most notably Valeria Moriconi, playing a spoiled youngster with a drug addiction), the film struck a nerve because of its harsh critique of the Italian society of the time, which claimed the moral high ground while secretly wishing for a place in the sun. Director Alberto Lattuada, with his sister Bianca and brother-in-law Aldo Buzzi as crew members, created a scathing social fresco, where a deus ex machina (local billionaire Chiastrino) observes, with a jaded eye, the troubles of an entrepreneur with a shady past, as well as the idealism of the young Communist mayor. The woman becomes the mirror image of a country doubting its own future, and trusting only money to obtain much desired respect. This was one of the first "middle class realism" films.
Martine Carol, Raf Vallone, Mario Carotenuto, Carlo Romano, Clelia Matania, Carlo Bianco
Rodolfo Sonego, Luigi Malerba, Charles Spaak, Alberto Lattuada
Titanus, C.C.C, Gamma Films