sunday-matineeOne of Criterion’s recent releases is this brilliant 1949 Italian neorealism from director Giuseppe De Santis.

Set after WWII, a couple of criminals (Doris Dowling and Vittorio Gassman) decide to hide with a group of female rice field workers. They meet worker
Silvana Mangano. Mangano gets Dowling work as a scab worker.

Movies-Riso_AmaroThey meet soldier Raf Vallone who tries to romance Mangano but Mangano has eyes for wanted criminal Gassman who is planning on existing the season’s rice.

The film was a huge hit for producer Dino De Laurentiis and director De Santis. While the film is mostly a neorealistic look at the plight of field workers it veers off into pulp territory with a crime heist and a fight at the end. Still a really entertaining movie.