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aka - Roof, The
Italy 1957
Directed by
Vittorio De Sica
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Tetto, Il

Like his most famous film The Bicycle Thieves (1948) the last example of De Sica's neo-realist body of work, scripted by the director's long-standing collaborator, Cesare Zavattini, follows the attempts by a simple artisan to survive in the harsh world of post-war Italy. In this instance it deals with the struggles of a simple bricklayer to make a home for himself and his new bride.

The balance between sentimentality and social critique and analysis is always an uneasy one in De Sica's work with "realism" being applicable more to the subject matter than the treatment. Here the two leads (Giorgio Listuzzi and Gabriella Pallota) are too photogenically refined to convince although De Sica does surrond them with much more believable players, clearly few of them professional actors as he in A Miracle In Milan (1951) he creates a sympathetically idealized portrait of solidarity amongst the urban poor.

DVD Extras: Separate interviews with Gabriella Pallotta and the director's son, Manual De Sica; Original Theatrical Trailer. Available as part of Umbrella's De Sica Collection Vol. 1 which also includes The Bicycle Thieves and A Miracle In Milan.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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