ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS (1960) B/W widescreen 175m dir: Luchino Visconti
w/Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Katina Paxinou, Roger Hanin, Paolo Stoppa, Suzy Delair, Claudia Cardinale, Spiros Focas, Max Cartier
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films: "The film is made up of five episodes and is spread over half-a-dozen years. Each episode concentrates on one of five peasant brothers who, with their widowed mother, Rosaria (Paxinou), migrate to industrial Milan from poverty-stricken Southern Italy. ...
"This epic saga is said to be a continuation of the story of the Valastros in La Terra Trema .... Visconti has said he was most influenced by literary works: the inevitable Giovanni Verga (for his psychological study of of the individual in relation to society), Dostoyevski (the 'goodness' of Rocco is similar to that of The Idiot) and the Biblical story of Joseph and his brethren. Though Visconti's aim is naturalistic in its indictment of contemporary society, his style is one in which the acting and photography are deliberately stylized and intensified in the manner he returned to in The Damned .... His control of his actors, especially Annie Girardot, Renato Salvatori, and Alain Delon, is superb and amply justifies his own statement: 'Experience has taught me that an expression of the burden of being human is the only thing that really counts on the screen.'"
From The Movie Guide: "Luchino Visconti's episodic prize-winning study of five brothers and their widowed mother transplanted from rural Sicily to industrial Milan in northern Italy is violent, deliberately operatic, and makes ambiguous social statements. The characters' relationships are explored over a period of 12 years, with concentration chiefly on Delon and Salvatori as they alternately enjoy and abuse the affections of Girardot, a prostitute who yearns to be free. She loves Delon, but he sacrifices her to the brutal Salvatori because the latter seems to have greater need of her love. ... The American premiere audience found the 175-minute version overlong and began walking out before the film's final scene ended; but the raped 95-minute version should be avoided."