Sog., Scen.: Eduardo De Filippo, Age e Scarpelli. F.: Leonida Barboni. M.: Franco Fraticelli. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Renzo Rossellini. Int.: Eduardo De Filippo (don Salvatore Aianello), Anna Maria Ferrero (Nannina), Frank Latimore (ingegner Enrico Parenti), Vittorio Sanipoli (Giovanni), Laura Gore (Rosetta), Francesco Penza (Tommaso Piccirillo), Guido Zacchetti (Alberto Di Gennaro), Baldassare Caruso (Antonio Capasso), Tina Castigliana (donna Irene), Eugenio Maggi (Antonio). Prod.: Produzione Volonteri, Virtus Film. 35mm. D.: 98’. Bn.
The inhabitants of a working-class district in Naples are forced to abandon the area in which they live after a building collapses causing several deaths. A delegation turns up at the company which bought the buildings demanding compensation and are unexpectedly offered jobs. So they have to move to Milan. “The most vital force of our theatre also gives the best of himself in the cinema: Filumena Marturano, for example, is even better than the original play; and Napoletani a Milano, has an almost excellent first half, set in the Neapolitan slums of the ‘Corno’, with its typically impoverished inhabitants inspired by the slum dwellers of Miracolo a Milano” (Guido Fink, “La Nuova scintilla”, 1 October 1953).
The film presents various interesting elements deriving from the uncertainties created by its balancing of different aesthetic models. The voice-over already evident in Napoli milionaria here assumes a more problematic tone, distancing itself and almost ironizing on the use of actors taken from the street and the overall atmosphere of ‘theatre of life”. It is a post- or anti-neorealist voice-over, in which the mixture of tragedy and farce is striking: the film was inspired by a real building site collapse in which five people died and depicts the protagonists’ attempts to benefit from this through fraudulent tactics. And yet they are the film’s ‘goodies’, who must humanise an industrial and technocratic Milan. The strongest image in the film is that of the Neapolitans who wander through the fog and end up in a factory: an image that will become reality for many in just a few years’ time.