One 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.
They 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.