Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence, this early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis and director Giuseppe De Santis is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.
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Sexy Silvana Mangano became internationally known after this peudo neorealist melodrama found an audience, thanks in part to her husband Dino Di Laurentiis's money, and the skimpy outfits he makes Giuseppe De Santis direct her in. Master cameraman Otello Martelli's sweeping shots of hundreds of women in rice paddy's is justly famed.
Exemplary melodrama of Marxist leanings it weaves together collective mobilization, class analysis, female sexuality, the latter blown to sensual heights by the gorgeous Mangano. The temptation of luxury are there and the criminal solution to scarcity aptly portrayed by Gassman's character. The riveting tracking shots give compelling significance to the (tragic) overshadowing of the individual by the collective.
Iconic Italian cinema starring two criminals hiding among rice workers involved in a love quadrangle, including the sensual beauty Silvana Mangano (Ingrid Bergman’s Italian doppelgänger). It’s a passionate agricultural fatal attraction.
Lo mejor es su primera parte, aquella que despliega un gran curso técnico (movimientos de cámara, el montaje de baile), pero sobretodo, esa deliciosa capacidad por sugerir un discurso sexualizado, casi erótico. Silvana Mangano solo es el indicio provocativo. Ya para cuando vemos a la mujeres trabajar, nada se ve de manera inocente. Piernas, escotes, pelea en el lodo. Se inmortaliza la fantasía de la mujer italiana.