7.7/10
3,208
20 user 35 critic

Bitter Rice (1949)

Riso amaro (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 September 1950 (USA)
Two criminals on the run end up working in a rice field and decide to recruit other workers for their next robbery.

Director:

Giuseppe De Santis

Writers:

Giuseppe De Santis (story), Carlo Lizzani (story) | 7 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Anna (1951)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Anna is a nurse and a nun, whose history catches up on her.

Director: Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Silvana Mangano, Gaby Morlay, Raf Vallone
Tragic Hunt (1947)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Immediately after the war, a truck on which the newlyweds Michele and Giovanna travel, and the accountant of an agricultural cooperative, charged with bringing four million lire into office, was assaulted by a handful of bandits.

Director: Giuseppe De Santis
Stars: Vivi Gioi, Andrea Checchi, Carla Del Poggio
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Antonio Arcidiacono
Shoeshine (1946)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Rinaldo Smordoni, Franco Interlenghi, Annielo Mele
Ossessione (1943)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Gino, a drifter, begins an affair with inn-owner Giovanna as they plan to get rid of her older husband.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani
The Organizer (1963)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former high school teacher turned unionist tries to organize workers laboring with inhuman conditions at a late 19th Century textile factory.

Director: Mario Monicelli
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Gabriella Giorgelli
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An open hearted and unrelentingly energetic orphan struggles to make the best out of his life on the streets of Milan.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Emma Gramatica, Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A desperate Sicilian man, whose 15 year old daughter was seduced and impregnated by his older daughter's fiancé, tries to find a way to save the family's honor.

Director: Pietro Germi
Stars: Saro Urzì, Stefania Sandrelli, Aldo Puglisi
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young German boy faces the problems of the tough life in the immediate post WWII Berlin.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hinze
Paisan (1946)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore, William Tubbs
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Adriana, a naive Italian country girl, moves to Rome to become a movie star and experiences the dark side of the business.

Director: Antonio Pietrangeli
Stars: Stefania Sandrelli, Mario Adorf, Jean-Claude Brialy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vittorio Gassman ... Walter (as Vittorio Gassmann)
Doris Dowling ... Francesca
Silvana Mangano ... Silvana
Raf Vallone ... Marco
Checco Rissone Checco Rissone ... Aristide
Nico Pepe Nico Pepe ... Beppe
Adriana Sivieri Adriana Sivieri ... Celeste
Lia Corelli Lia Corelli ... Amelia
Maria Grazia Francia Maria Grazia Francia ... Gabriella
Dedi Ristori Dedi Ristori ... Anna
Anna Maestri Anna Maestri ... Irene
Mariemma Bardi Mariemma Bardi ... Gianna
Maria Capuzzo Maria Capuzzo ... Giulia
Isabella Marincola Isabella Marincola ... Rosa (as Isabella Zennaro)
Carlo Mazzarella Carlo Mazzarella ... Gianetto
Edit

Storyline

Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder. Written by Laura Ernestina Ruberto <lruberto@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A drama of women workers in the Po Valley rice fields! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

18 September 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bitter Rice See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lux Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucia Bosé was the director's first choice for the role of Silvana. It wasn't until he met Silvana Mangano by chance that he decided to cast her in the film. De Santis also wanted Mangano to appear in his next picture Under the Olive Tree (1950) but when she got pregnant, she was replaced by Bosé. See more »

Connections

Edited into Giuseppe De Santis (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Just misses being a masterpiece
16 October 2011 | by wjficklingSee all my reviews

The principal flaw of this film is the performance of Doris Dowling, mistakenly cast in the role of Francesca. Dowling seems capable of only one facial expression, something between a scowl and a sneer. Why such a wooden American actress was cast in this role when there were so many budding actresses in Italy at the time must remain a mystery.

This film ranks just below such classics of the Italian neo-realist movement as The Bicycle Thief, Shoeshine, Open City, and La Strada. Turner Classic Movies is to be applauded for making this rarely seen gem available on their channel. There is a nearly show-stopping performance by Silvana Mangano, a performance that must have been electrifying at the time. Earthy, sensual, voluptuous, Mangano performs with unshaven armpits which she puts on full display when she puts her hands behind her head. This was a gutsy move for an unknown actress who was a former beauty queen presumably aiming for stardom, but this little touch adds immeasurably to the brooding sense of poverty and desperation that pervade the film. It has been said that if Mangano had had more drive and been less controlled by her husband, Dino de Laurentiis, she might have achieved the stature of Loren and Lollobrigida. But alas, it was not to be. The only other notable performance of her career was in Visconti's Death in Venice.

If this film seems excessively proletarian, even Marxist, in its outlook, it is important to remember that Italy was impoverished after WWII and that the Communist Party very nearly came to power in 1948 and probably would have done so had it not been for CIA intervention. The crane shots and other camera work, as well as the superb acting of the women in the smaller roles, are masterful in depicting the drudgery of the toil of the women working in the rice fields. Other aspects of the camera work are masterful. Probably the most famous, or notorious, scene in the film is the one where Mangano takes a reed and playfully pokes Vittorio Gassman with it. Gassman's character is not amused; he takes the reed from her and proceeds to whip her with it repeatedly. Notice the way the camera moves with Gassman as he approaches her, then moves with Mangano as she tries to move away from him in terror. This is masterful camera work. The finale of the film, which I won't reveal here, is shattering as well. The acting of Gassman and Raf Vallone is superb as well.

Until recently this film was unavailable on DVD with English subtitles, but it has recently become available and can be ordered on Amazon. It would be a great addition to anyone's film library. And one final note: another reviewer cautioned parents that there is nudity in this film. This is incorrect. I think he is probably referring to the crane shot that shows the women bathing in the river. They do indeed appear nude, but if you look more closely you will see that they are wearing body stockings and are fully clothed.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed