Although I have never been entirely convinced by Pietro Germi as an actor there is no doubting his sympathic portrayal here of a married man who has to bear the tragic consequences of an extra-marital affair. He is a first class director of course and has given us a truly tender and heart rending film. The title is taken fom T.S. Eliot's poem 'We are the hollow men.....headpiece filled with straw.' He has gone down the tried and trusted route by using the same team in front of and behind the camera as he had in his previous film 'Man of Iron'. The excellent Luisa della Noce again plays his wife, Edoardo Nevola his son and Saro Urzi is the faithful friend. The last named would go on to win Best Actor at Cannes for his tremendous performance as the father in the same director's 'Seduced and Abandoned'. Leonida Barboni again contributes wonderfully atmospheric cinematography and Carlo Rustichelli a very touching score. The new addition is Franca Bottaia who gives a sensitive and haunting portayal as 'the other woman'. Germi certainly had a knack with actors. One wonders however why both della Noce and Bottaia were 'dubbed'. Surely their own voices were not that dreadful?! One of the mysteries of Italian post-production! The film ends with a wonderfully framed family'reconciliation' but of course things can never be quite the same again.