Bitter Rice

1949, Drama, 1h 47m

6 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Francesca (Doris Dowling) and Walter (Vittorio Gassman) are a criminally inclined couple who accidentally part ways while on the run from the law. Luckily, Francesca falls in with a group of peasant women and opts to hide out among them as they toil in the rice fields of the Po Valley. To her surprise, in her cover she discovers a simple but satisfying life filled with hard work and friendship. So when Walter resurfaces, their reunion doesn't go quite as he had expected.

Cast & Crew

Dedi Ristori
Anna
Maria Capuzzo
Giulia
Isabella Zennaro
Rosa
Carlo Mazzarella
Gianetto
Carlo Lizzani
Screenwriter
Mario Monicelli
Screenwriter
Gianni Puccini
Screenwriter
Goffredo Petrassi
Original Music
Otello Martelli
Cinematographer
Carlo Egidi
Production Design
Anna Gobbi
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Bitter Rice

Critic Reviews for Bitter Rice

All Critics (6) | Fresh (6)

Audience Reviews for Bitter Rice

  • Feb 05, 2021
    A powerhouse of a film from late 1940s Italy with a subtext of class unhappiness stitched into it, a couple of big city lowlifes hide out amongst mostly poor women rice field harvesters after a big heist, the police on their tail. What happens next is the film's message, but the scenario is so unique as to justify multiple viewings. And Silvana Mangero is a volcanic eruption!
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2012
    a mixed bag, if there ever was one
    G S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2010
    What better way to depict the clash of cultural values than by blending elements of Neo-Realism with American film genres? The setting of the panoramic Po River Valley is obviously Marxist, as many felt this was the only area in which a true 'Workers Revolution' could occur. The plot is melodramatic, involving lust, crime and murder. Silvana is closely associated with Americanism in her love of tabloids, boogie-woogie, and bubblegum. De Santis' incorporation of gangster and western formulas celebrates American cinema, showing its appeal, yet almost undermining the film's message supporting traditional values. Americanism is ultimately condemned, as Silvana realizes the promise for a new way of life is empty, bringing the film to a shockingly dramatic conclusion. Ironically, this film launched Silvana Mangano as a sex symbol. This is another milestone and testament of the many achievements in Italian film. Bravo!
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2008
    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 D Super Reviewer

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