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Una vita difficile 1961
Description: Silvio Magnozzi is a boy so dedicated to his high moral standards that he loses out on most of the things he wants in life -including his wife. He watches while others march up the ladder of success method ahead of him, sometimes by hypocritically licking the boots of their superiors or doing just anything at all to attain advancement. After his death grip on his principles causes his wife to walk out, Silvio relents and begins to live like others. Actually he is supposedly happily residing on Simple Street, his wife is back -- and so what is bugging him? (AllMovie)
Released: 22 Dec 1961 Director: Dino Risi Writers: Rodolfo Sonego Actors: Alberto Sordi, Lea Massari, Franco Fabrizi, Lina Volonghi Genres: Comedy, Drama, War
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Una vita difficile Reviews:

Other Alberto Sordi black comedy(similar to "il boom") with bouts of hilarity, but underlying a sad truth of postwar Italy in the 1950's.The existence of a minority of Italians unable to adapt to "bourgeois" civilian life after spending too many years soldiering during the 2nd globe war.Alberto Sordi becomes an idealistic loser in an increasingly amoral,money grabbing society which Alberto Sordi tries to oppose, with honest journalism(his last permanent job). Alberto Sordi ends up losing everything,money,wife even freedom (he ends up in jail for libel).A most poignant moment of Alberto Sordi's life and Italian society in general is when Alberto Sordi returns to his wife's village in a luxurious vehicle wearing expensive clothes..and wins back his wife .....but she later finds out soon that all these luxury goods were lent to him by his despotic boss, a rich industrialist who constantly humiliates Alberto Sordi as he works as a boy servant in his villa !.(With a memorable final scene).One of Alberto's Sordi's greatest film(Also he tells it too! ).Recently restored in Italy.A 9/10 film.


In this heart-wrenching comedy directed by Italian cinema giant Dino Risi, Silvio Magnozzi's "difficult life" follows the trajectory of Italy from the proud moments of the Resistance movement's struggle vs Nazi occupation to post-war domination by wealth and privilege. Magnozzi, a writer and journalist played by Alberto Sordi, does not give up the dream of an alternate future to capitalism and the extreme inequalities it engenders. He meets Elena, the love of his life, while he is fighting the Nazis; but after the fight she is torn between his dreams and the petty social- climbing schemes of her mother. So while Magnozzi refuses to sell out, selecting to defy the fat cats and to write truthfully, Elena waivers. The movie is often classified with the Fresh Italian Comedy, a category that emerged from the hard-hitting political narratives of Italian Neo-realism and retained their critical edge while softening it with humor. "A Hard Life" has a bitter tone compared to most of the movies of the period; even in many very funny scenes the anger and defiance are never dispelled, and Magnozzi pays a massive price for his heroism. Sordi's performance is brilliant (Italians refer to him as "Albertone", perhaps greatest translated as "Albert the Great"). In his portrayal of the clown as hero, each gesture is meaningful and touching. Lea Massari, one of the nice Italian divas of the period, also has a stand-out performance--and the helping cast (including Claudio Gora as the boorish multi-millionaire) never misses a beat. The period details— from the newsreel footage to the flashy cars, beach parties, and fur coats of the post-war boom-- are handled expertly. A must-see for any lover of Italian cinema. '


The Italians are masters in the art of mixing to perfection laughs and tears. It is a pity to see the recipe gone, together with the nice actors and directors; CINEMA DELL'ARTE has joined COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE in Ancien History. That was one more reason for my rushing to see this unknown pearl, re-masterized-but-not-too-much, probably intentionally, because this gives the film an added patine which is quite pleasant to watch. The actors are wonderful, especially the late Alberto Sordi and Lea Massari, who kept acting in Italian and French films until recently.I found the same pleasure as in Ettore Scola's C'ERAVAMO TANTO AMATI, 1974, to search many Italian actors and directors testing as themselves. Stars of the pre-war (Antonio Centa and Claudio Gora) are accessible too. IL SORPASSO was ending also at the gates of Viareggio, but Risi gave almost a true part to this Art Deco town in UNA VITA DIFFICILE. I am a fanatic of it since 1997, but in the film it looked like a true paradise of the Sixties, when there was a nightlife in the Pinete (pinewoods, actually abandoned to the bambini and the bikers, but still a daytime famous attraction). Some of the nightclubs kept their names, but turned into family restaurants and moved to the city's fancy promenade, unfortunately separated from the sea by the beach establishments.It was my "added entertainment", in a rare delight.If it shows around, don't miss it. harry carasso, Paris, France



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