Bitter Rice

Giuseppe De Santis’s belated neorealist effort about the exploitation of women working in the Po Valley rice fields (1948) was sold to the American public using shots of a nubile Silvana Mangano wading in the water with her skirt hiked up. The movie went on to make Mangano a star, and if memory serves, it’s a lot more substantial than the cheesecake ads made it appear. With Vittorio Gassman, Raf Vallone, Doris Dowling, and Lia Corelli. 108 min. (JR)

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