Giovanni used to be a humble, mild-mannered government clerk whose life was turned upside down when he met Giulio, a notorious forger who at once set about manipulating the over-confident ... See full summary »
Alberto Lattuarda's films are, to put it politely, a 'mixed bag' but here he has really hit the mark in this adaptation of the novel of 1891 by Gabriele d'Annunzio which unfortunately became lumbered with the alternative title 'The Flesh will Surrender'! Quite a few had a hand in the screenplay including Fellini, d'Amico, Lattuarda himself and star Aldo Fabrizi.
As the mild-mannered bank clerk Fabrizi is absolutely magnificent. His performance is of immense compassion and subtlety and typifies the 'little is good, less is better' school of film acting.
Yvonne Sanson plays his tantalising wife and Radolno Lupi as the rotter is the type of man to whom women seem irresistibly drawn. Interesting to see a younger Alberto Sordi in a smaller role before 'breaking through' in the 1950's for Fellini. Even here his style and screen presence are unmistakeable. Scenes between Giovanni and his son Ciro are extremely touching due not least to their being real life father and son.
Cinematography is by the superlative Aldo Tonti.
As for the powerful score the director's father Felice is credited while Nino Rota's contribution is not! Excellent editing by Giuliana Attena whose first editorial assignment this is.
A very good film made even better by a stupendous central performance.