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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jaw dropping immediate post war main stream Italian movie, contemporary with the familiar neo-realists.

    The WW2 farm of patriarch Ninchi is in the able hands of Valli, looking great. The singing peasants are celebrating the harvest while the Germans gather forced laborers and the men hide.

    Sheltering Ninchi's fugitive son Bruni during the storm, this being the period where she gets sopping every picture, like Sophia Loren a little later, Alida gets out of her wet things and one thing leads to another. Leaving the baby with her city aunt post liberation, Alida comes back and Ninchi assures her "this will always be your home", as the workers dance under paper lamps.

    However despicable Bruni sets up house instead with blonde Mercadier, who dies in child birth and he accuses Alida of having killed his wife. Nevertheless we end up with Ninchi, his descendants and Alida sitting round the family table, ensuring the continuation of the dynasty.

    Quite good production values but stolid direction. The imagery isn't bad - nice shots of Alida against rural scenics - but hers is the only plausible performance and the content is disturbing.

    Outsiders for whom access to the forties Italian film is very thin, can only wonder how representative and revealing all this is.