Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. Italy/France, 1960. Titanus, Les Films Marceau. Story by Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Vasco Pratolini, Screenplay and dialogue by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti, inspired by the novel Il Ponte della Ghisolfa by Giovanni Testori. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Goffredo Lombardo. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Mario Garbuglia. Costume Design by Piero Tosi. Film Editing by Mario Serandrei.
This Visconti masterpiece tells the epic story of an Italian family’s struggles when they leave their poor, tiny village and move to the big city to be with their already established oldest son (Spiros Focás). The stories of all the brothers are explored, centering around Rocco (Alain Delon), the most sensitive and aware of the clan. Annie Girardot is excellent as a prostitute who befriends the family (her tragic conclusion was recently restored after being excised by censors upon its original release), Katina Paxinou plays the iron-fisted matriarch of the family, and Claudia Cardinale makes a small appearance as Focas’s wife. The film is an obvious influence on Coppola’s Godfather trilogy (he even hired composer Nino Rota to reuse the same score you hear on this film), as well as the films of Martin Scorsese. Recently even Madonna paid tribute, seeing the film and after falling madly in love with it naming her son for the main character.