Claudia Cardinale reportedly said she did not get on very well with her co-star Georges Chakiris -who was working in Europa in the sixties after the "West Side Story" triumph;his most memorable part here is in Demy's musical " Les Demoiselles De Rochefort" .It shows in the movie :there's no chemistry between the two leads (remember how Chakiris was great opposite Rita Moreno).And Chakiris is about as credible as an Italian partisan as Cardinale would be as Anita in Wise's musical.
Luigi Comencini's great works were still to come ."La Ragazza Di Bube" is not a bad movie,far from it;but it does not possess the appeal of his later works such as " "Inconpreso" "Lo Scopone Scientifico" or "Cuore" .
The movie begins with the arrival of the Americans (with the usual Glenn Miller's "in the mood" )and I thought Chakiris would play an American soldier but he doesn't (see above)The Americans actually work behind the scenes.
Claudia Cardinale plays a girl who has an unfortunate tendency to react to events instead of initiating them.History -immediate history-eludes her: why Bube acts like he does is beyond her;and for that matter ,the title could not be better : this is the story of Bube's girl ,not of Mara's boy. When she meets another boy (Marc Michel,who ,like Chakiris ,worked with Demy ("Lola" )) who works in a printing house -and writes in leftist propaganda newspaper ,she hardly understands what he does -except that it might help bring her love back from exile.
Mara lives in a romantic world ,a motionless world ,she identifies with the heroine of "Waterloo Bridge" (played by Vivien Leigh) a movie she saw in the local theater .She's deluding herself and even in the final scenes she is the heroine still waiting for her hero to come back....even though if it's not sure that means happiness to her.She also feels guilt -although once again Bube is a macho (the scene in the restaurant where he starts eating without waiting for her) and probably ever will.But Comencini was often a pessimistic director who did not trust the grown-ups.Hence his love for children ,the only positive characters in his best films.There're no children in "La Ragazza" .
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