Sabtu, 23 Oktober 2010

Giuseppe De Santis - Roma ore 11 aka Rome, 11 o'clock (1952)

Movie Review (from NYTIMES)

Roma Ore 11 (1952)
April 30, 1953
' Rome, 11 O'Clock,' a Vivid, Raw-Boned Movie From Italy, Is Presented at the World; ' The Hitch-Hiker,' a Thriller in Travel, Moves Into Holiday -- 'Invasion U.S.A.' at Globe
Published: April 30, 1953

A cruel and ironic accident that happened in Rome two years ago, when 200 girls crashed through a staircase while crowding in line to apply for one small job, provides the literal inspiration for another vivid, raw-boned Italian film, "Rome, 11 O'clock," which plunged ungently into the World Theatre yesterday. Written by Cesare Zavattini, who wrote "The Bicycle Thief," and directed by Giuseppi de Santis, who guided the savage "Bitter Rice," this new contemplation of a mass misfortune was destined to be caustic from the start—and that it is, with a full measure of humanity and humor, to boot.

What its creators are considering is not so much the incident of 200 girls tumbling headlong and screaming into a crumbling stairwell, although that is unstintingly enacted with realistic ruthlessness and pain—but the personal and economic pressures that have brought these fated girls to this sad point and the dismal or happy consequences of the accident to several of them.

It is in this more meaningful area of personal drama that the authors have achieved a film of absorbing interest and persistent emotional power. For not only have they got stories of individuals that are human and tangibly true, but they have woven these stories into a fabric that is as literal as a newspaper page. And they have interlaced through this fabric so many comments on life and so many glints of human nature and human poignance that it fascinates throughout.

There's the girl, played by Eva Vanicek, who is the first in line and is the pawn of a strong, persistent mother with a heart concealed beneath her militant front. There's the prostitute, played by Lea Padovani, who wants the small typist's job so she can go straight, and there's the servant girl, played by Delia Scala, who wants to get away from the drudgery she must endure. There is also the unwed girl who is concealing her pregnancy, the happy youngster who really aspires to a singing career, the well-bred mistress of a starving artist and the little blonde who just needs a job.

But most particularly there's the wife of the poor workman who, by her act of bolting the line, causes the stir that precipitates the fatal unloosening and the horrible collapse of the stairs. And it is the subsequent mental anguish of this young woman, whom Carla del Poggio most sensitively plays, that forms the axial line of the fabric and provides the terminal touch of irony.

Before that, however, Zavattini, with his several collaborators on the script, and the keen and inventive de Santis create many taut and warming scenes of human bitterness, sweetness and devotion; many prospects of generosity and a few very nice and neatly sparkling spots of satire and wit. Although the last episode in the picture—an inquisition of several of the surviving girls—is a bit overlong in the unfolding, it makes a trenchant and practical point.

To the names of those already mentioned, it is only fair to add those of Lucia Bose, Elena Varzi, Irene Lughin and Maria Grazia Francia. And among the male performers there are Massimo Girotti in the interesting role of the unemployed workman and Raf Vallone as the artist who starves. Paul Graetz has afforded an excellent production, realistic and solid to the core, and the English subtitles by Herman G. Weinberg translate the Italian dialogue adequately.

With "Rome, 11 O'Clock," the stock of the Italians, which had been dipping of late, jumps several points.

sorry no subs
no pass

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