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147 Ratings

Il Boom

Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Italy, 1963


A couple used to a very high standard of living and suddenly faced with imminent ruin, prefers to avoid ruin by selling one of the husband’s eyes to a richman who has lost one in an accident.

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Il Boom Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Bringing to life the Italian version of the saying “it cost me an arm and a leg,” the film is both horrifying and hilarious, showcasing satire at its most brutal. And though it may at first seem to be a departure from De Sica’s neorealist classics, the film was written by De Sica’s collaborator on those films, the incomparable Cesare Zavattini, and contains many of the same themes, with the humor and upbeat score making the film’s honesty all the more devastating.
June 19, 2017
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Sordi’s 10-second reaction to the question is worth the price of admission. His characterization of Giovanni… is arguably the film’s strongest selling point. Not that De Sica’s directorial signature is absent. His portrait of a different aspect of the Italian early ’60s “dolce vita,” in which the entrepreneurial middle class rubs elbows with, and tries to wheel and deal with, the obscenely wealthy, is packed with trenchant observation and mordant wit.
June 15, 2017
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Among the most savage and surreal of Italian comedies, starring one of the country’s biggest stars and directed by one of its legendary filmmakers, Vittorio De Sica’s Il Boom barely made a ripple when first released, in 1963, then sank so deep that it’s only now getting a proper release in the United States. Luckily for us, it has lost almost none of its bite.
June 14, 2017
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