No English subtitles
Screening on Film
Directed by Robert Rossen.
With Silvana Mangano, Michael Rennie, Vittorio Gassman.
US/Italy, 1955, 35mm, black & white, 94 min.
In Italian .
Print source: Cineteca Nazionale

The first film Rossen directed in an attempt to start over in Europe, the Italian-produced Mambo had passed through the hands of several writers before reaching him and would be subject to incessant studio interference. Producer Dino di Laurentiis placed his beautiful wife Silvana Mangano center stage as Giovanna, humiliated and trafficked by men who want to possess the fiercely sparkling jewel tucked within their narrow, impoverished streets. Although a traveling modern dance troupe hands her an escape route – and many engaging scenes with her ambitious, liberated teacher played by Shelley Winters – she stages a more curious dance around desires that have been confused by bitterness and self-absorption: “after all, the world owed me something.” By the time Giovanna experiences genuine love and a certain awareness, the twisting film has also attained its own kind of enchantment and pathos shaded by Neo-realistic candor. Print courtesy of Cineteca Nazionale.

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The Bodies and Souls of Robert Rossen

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