Mario Camerini

Sog.: Piero Tellini. Scen.: Piero Tellini, Mario Camerini. F.: Aldo Tonti. M.: Adriana Novelli, Mario Camerini. Scgf.: Alberto Boccianti. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Anna Magnani (Linda), Massimo Girotti (Paolo Bertoni), Checco Rissone (Donato), Dante Maggio (Emilio), Checco Durante (parroco), Luigi Pavese (Giulio Carocci), Giorgio Nimmo (Romoletto), Enrico Glori (ricettatore), Peppino Spadaro (commissario). Prod. Lux Film. DCP. D.: 90’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Molti sogni per le strade was released in 1948, the year of Bicycle Thieves, and surprisingly, the similarities between the films have not been acknowledged. Here, De Sica deals with the theft of a bicycle, which he rode in the film with which Camerini launched his career, Gli uomini, che mascalzoni... Meanwhile, his “master” (as De Sica called him, receiving the ironic epithet “school master” in return) constructs his film around the theft of an automobile, of which his protagonist is not the victim but the perpetrator. This highlights the contradiction between ownership and use that underpins many of Camerini’s stories. Girotti (who claims that Camerini actually preferred Peppino De Filippo for the role) plays an unemployed man who, following an argument with his wife (Anna Magnani) who reproaches him for their poverty when their child asks for a present he sees in a shop window, steals a car from the garage that his friend is guarding. […] Girotti attempts to sell the car without mentioning it to his wife, but she spots him and suspects that he is having an affair; so, together with the boy, she follows him on a journey which occupies the rest of the film. […]
During the trip, various unusual comic situations occur; most notable is the baptism celebration, which they attend in the hope of selling the car to an oversized gentleman who is ultimately so moved by the priest’s homily that he ends up confessing. However, the situation which best reveals the film’s unusual politics is the one in which he tries to drive the car through a left-wing meeting, provoking an argument with the participants and then the intervention of a policeman who is sympathetic to what he interprets as the impatience of a committed monarchist. If the film is not lacking in Camerini touches (the theft itself, Girotti being tempted to refer to himself as a “scoundrel” to his wife), there are also symptoms of the emergence of a new cinematic era, from the Roman inflections of Magnani’s dialogue to the voice-over which frames the film. […] A device typical of neorealism, the voice-off represents the illusionary nature of objectivity and stereotyping.

Sergio Grmek Germani, Mario Camerini, La Nuova Italia, Florence 1980

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