THE GOLD OF NAPLES (Vittorio De Sica, 1954)

In six episodes, Vittorio De Sica’s L’oro di Napoli finds “gold” in its Neapolitan characters of diverse age and status. The splendid script by Giuseppe Marotta, Cesare Zavattini, and De Sica launches an uncommonly rich work, one that brilliantly entertains and offers a host of terrific performances that encompass hilarious comedy, profound sadness, even ironical, […]

TERMINAL STATION (Vittorio De Sica, 1953)

Of the two versions, Vittorio De Sica’s cut and David O. Selznick’s version re-edited for U.S. consumption, the director’s version is superior—as is always the case. Apparently Seznick was spooked by bad reviews that Stazione Termini drew; but the principal fault lay with the central love story, not the material around the edges, the ordinary […]

ROMA CITTÀ LIBERA (Marcello Pagliero, 1946)

Writer-director Marcello Pagliero’s Roma città libera presents a grim portrait of postwar Rome. It is 1945, and the city, having been liberated by the Americans, is “free”; but life isn’t easy. Three impoverished individuals exemplify this fact: a career burglar; his potential mark, a man whose suicide attempt the burglar, since he happens to be […]

GENERAL DELLA ROVERE (Roberto Rossellini, 1959)

Now (rightly) regarded as one of Roberto Rossellini’s lesser works, when it was released General della Rovere won the top prize at Venice, the David di Donatello Award as best film, and the best director prize from Italy’s film journalists. It is a good, strong film, highlighted by two riveting performances; but it is also […]

MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (Vittorio De Sica, 1964)

Oversized, opulent, Matrimonio all’italiana is one of Vittorio De Sica’s baubles, an artificially colored marshmallow. Dazzlingly entertaining, it is unworthy of the artist De Sica once was.      From the play Filumena Marturano by Eduardo De Filippo, adapted by Renato Castellani, Tonino Guerra, Leonardo Benvenuti and Piero De Bernardi, the film encompasses two decades of comedic […]