Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder. —IMDb
Giuseppe De Santis (11 February 1917 – 16 May 1997) was an Italian film director. One of the most idealistic neorealist filmmakers of the 1940s and 1950s, he wrote and directed films punctuated by ardent cries for social reform.
He was the brother of Italian cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis. His wife is Gordana Miletic, actress (former ballet dancer) from the former Yugoslavia.
De Santis was born in Fondi, Lazio. He was a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and fought with the anti-German Resistance in Rome during World War II.
He was first a student of philosophy and literature before entering Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. While working as a journalist for Cinema magazine, De Santis became, under the influence of Cesare Zavattini, a major proponent of the early neorealist filmmakers who were trying to make films that mirrored the simple and tragic realities of proletarian life using location shooting and nonprofessional actors. read more
Steamy passions in the rice fields as sexy, high camp melodrama is superimposed onto a film intended as a hard-hitting critique of the exploitation of workers. The bold camera style of de Santis is as impressive as his handling of set pieces, especially a memorably erotic bit of boogie woogie between the voluptuous Mangano and the nefarious Gassman and the final showdown set in an abattoir. Magnificent entertainment.
A missing link between neorealism and the international new wave, with a unique blend of criminal grit and working class spunk.