2 September 2019 | ripplinbuckethead
Uneven, but worth a look
A drifter (Paul Muni) is kicked off a ship he'd been stowing away in and begins wandering around town. At the same time, a poor young boy named Giacomo (Vittorio Manunta) is sent by his mother to get milk. He doesn't have enough money and decides to steal it while the shopkeeper isn't looking. As he leaves the shop, he passes the drifter, who begins eating a piece of cheese. The shopkeeper objects, he grabs and silences her, and she dies. (heart attack?) Now both are on the run from the police and they stick together.
This was an interesting one. It's a sort of slice-of-life-in-Italy film, focusing on the poor and abused, who just happen to get embroiled in some very difficult circumstances. The story is decent, the scenery is nice, and performances are solid, including that of Joan Lorring as a woman who steals from her lecherous employer and is forced to pay for it his way. But it all kinda feels a little average and a bit too long. It has its moments, but there are no real big moments that grab you (save for the end, to a degree), and the empathy for, or interest in, the characters isn't strong enough to make the tension tense enough.
Certainly not Muni's best, nor Losey's, but still worth a look.