Sog., Scen.: Luciano Emmer, Ennio Flaiano, Rodolfo Sonego. F.: Gábor Pogány. M.: Jolanda Benvenuti. Scgf.: Gianni Polidori. Mus.: Carlo Innocenzi, Roman Vlad. Int.: Gabriele Ferzetti (Mario Rossetti). Franco Fabrizi (Gianni), Luciana Angiolillo (Giovanna Rossetti), Irene Tunc (Donatella), Gina Busin (Camilla, la domestica veneta), Floria Mariel (Paola), Wanda Benedetti (Luisa), Michele Emmer (Andrea Rossetti), Elisabetta Emmer (Cristina Rossetti), Giovanna Cigoli (madre di Giovanna). Prod.: Vides, Cormoran Films. DCP. D.: 86’. Bn.
A maid arrives in a new, middle-class district, to take up a post in the household of a doctor (Gabriele Ferzetti). Through her eyes we witness the difficulties faced by the young man at the start of his career, his relationship with his wife and children and his aspirations to climb the social ladder which put the family at risk. And it will be Camille who gets everyone out of difficulty when the moment comes. Emmer shoots a transitional film unlike any other, during a difficult moment of change both for Italian cinema and for Italy. Here, anecdote gives way to an emphasis on description, with the neighbourhood apparently suspended in a void and the interiors recreated in studio, the cast of professional actors with a non-actress vaguely reminiscent of Neorealism (Gina Busin) at their centre, and Ferzetti’s children played by Emmer’s own children, Michele and Elisabetta. “Camilla, played by yet another peasant from the Maccarese region, gave my film life, filling the house I had constructed in Cinecittà’s Stage 1 with her powerful presence. The illusion was perfect: I lived for two months in that house as if were my own, immersed in the crisis faced by a middle class family at the very start of the euphoria of the economic boom. I had perhaps intuited the subsequent loss of certain traditional values, which certain hypocritical moralists vainly hope will return. Camilla was the litmus test that revealed this loss through her affectionate and detached testimony” (Luciano Emmer).