Underrated gem from blacklisted director Joseph Losey (M, The Prowler both 1951) and blacklisted writer Ben Barzman. This little seen film stars Paul Muni best known for winning an Oscar in the 1937 film The Good Earth and Tony in the original Scarface (1932).
Here Muni plays a homeless stranger looking to escape and start a new life by boarding a ship but he doesn't have the money. He tries to raise money by selling his only possession, a gun. Hungry he steals some food from a confectionery and when confronted by the shop owner accidentally kills her.
It was here that he crossed paths with a young boy Giacomo played fabulously by a young Italian lad by the name of Vittorio Manunta who only did 3 films. Giacomo had been sent by his mother to buy milk and return laundry but on the way he lost the money in a marbles game. Unable to buy the milk he steals it just before the Stranger came into the same confectionery.
The two are now on the lam and join forces with young Giacomo thinking the police are looking for him for stealing the milk. Beautifully filmed in b&w in post war Italy with gritty neo-realism amongst the bombed out ruins of a coastal Italian town in Tuscany the story is tender yet contained classic film noir elements with the accidental murder, the innocent theft and the chase. Joan Loring (The Gangster, The Verdict, The Big Night) in a bit part as a lonely woman. Worth the find. Wonderful little seen film.
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