Senza pietà (Without Pity) (1948)




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Filmed in 1948 as Senza Pieta, this Alberto Lattuada-directed effort came to America the following year as Without Pity. The film's sensitive subject matter caused problems in distribution and approval; Lattuada was never known to shirk from a sociopolitical statement, even when it meant loss of revenue overseas. The plot is based on an actual postwar dilemma: in Northern Italy, dozens of black American GIs chose to go AWOL rather than return to a racially divided United States. John Kitzmiller plays an occupation soldier named Jerry, who decides to remain in Italy when he falls in love with a blonde, Caucasian local girl named Angela (Carla Del Poggio). Reviewers in 1949 felt that Lattuada exercised poor taste in depicting the interracial romance: while these scenes cannot realistically be described as offensive when seen today, they are still quite frank by 1940s standards. A "regular" in Italian neorealist films, Michigan-born black actor John Kitzmiller went on to win a Cannes Film Festival award for his performance in 1957's Sergeant Jim; James Bond fans will remember Kitzmiller as "Quarrel" in Dr. No (1962).


Pierre Claudé
as Pierre Luigi
Folco Lulli
as Giacomo
Lando Muzio
as South American Captain
Enza Giovine
as Sister Gertrude
Daniel Jones
as Richard
Otello Fava
as Dumb Man
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