Bitter Rice (Riso amaro) (1949)

Bitter Rice (Riso amaro) (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Bitter Rice (Riso amaro) Photos

Movie Info

Originally released as Riso Amaro, Bitter Rice was one of the landmark films of the postwar Italian neorealist movement. Silvana Mangano portrays one of hundreds of women toiling slavishly in the Po Valley rice fields. She is courted by two men: respectable Raf Vallone and no-good fugitive from justice Vittorio Gassman. Mangano chooses Gassman, a decision which brings disaster not only to her but to her co-workers. The rice-field scenes are realistic enough to pass muster as documentary footage, though they tend to be undercut in the English-language version by the amateurish dubbing. Critics were unanimous in their praise for Bitter Rice; their words were, however, ignored by the male fans who came to see the film solely on the strength of the now-famous production still of the buxom Silvana Mangano standing in the rice field wearing tight shorts and torn black stockings.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection

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Doris Dowling
as Francesca
Raf Vallone
as Marco
Checco Rissone
as Aristide
Nico Pepe
as Beppe
Lia Croelli
as Amelia
Ann Maestri
as Irene
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Critic Reviews for Bitter Rice (Riso amaro)

All Critics (5)

There is so much to be learned from Bitter Rice, even today. It is a perfect surprise, proving how important and how much fun it is to discover older movies with fresh eyes.

Full Review… | May 31, 2016

Shameless eye candy with a social message.

Full Review… | February 1, 2016
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

[A] femininely-charged setting sets Bitter Rice apart from the masculine, urban underworlds typically inhabited within the noir genre.

Full Review… | January 16, 2016
Under the Radar

A quintessential film of Italian neorealism of postWWII, though it became an international sensation due to the overt sex appeal and shot of breasts of Silvana Mangano, then only 19.

Full Review… | February 26, 2012

'Bitter Rice'-- a film that initiated a change in direction for a big national player in world cinema -- holds up enough after all these years.

Full Review… | December 12, 2007
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Bitter Rice (Riso amaro)

Starts out great with a cool set-up and premise, interesting characters, and fantastic camera work. Unfortunately it descends into schlock by the end and we've got a cheesy shoot out between the two main characters.

Jay K. Raja
Jay K. Raja

a mixed bag, if there ever was one


Super Reviewer

the beginning of the end for italian neorealism was when directors started injecting sex and violence for better box office. this film sets out to explore the exploitation of female rice pickers in the italian countryside and ends in a noirish shootout. in between we have mud wrestling, gorgeous 18 yr old silvana mangano dancing and vittorio gassman as a gangster hiding out from the police, but after 50 odd years, the film holds up surprisingly well. recommended

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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