Sog.: Ettore Maria Margadonna; Scen.: Federico Fellini, Alberto Lattuada, Tullio Pinelli; F.: Aldo Tonti; Mo.: Mario Bonotti; Scgf.: Piero Gherardi; Cost.: Piero Gherardi; Mu.: Nino Rota; Int.: Carla Del Poggio (Angela Borghi), John Kitzmiller (Jerry Jackson), Pierre Claudé (Pierluigi), Giulietta Masina (Marcella), Folco Lulli (Giacomo), Lando Muzio (il capitano sudamericano), Enza Giovine (suor Gertrude), Daniel Jones (Richard), Otelo Fava (l’uomo sordo); Prod.: Carlo Ponti per Lux Film 35mm. D.: 94′. Bn.
Without pity…. Society is without pity. The little Italian Angela loves a black American, Jerry. And Jerry loves Angela. Alas! In today’s society it is not easy to live, it is not easy to love. What Alberto Lattuada depicts in Senza pietà is a post-war drama. But we should make no mistake. It is not just a case of a fait divers, but rather of a testimony. Once upon a time, lovers in literature preferred to die rather than to live in separation. Today, lovers in the cinema, whether they are invented by Prévert or by Fellini and Pinelli (the writers of Senza pietà), want to live! They cling furiously to life. Today, unhappy lovers don’t have time to give up. (…) We will never forget Angela, alone and desperate, leaving for Livorno in search of a job, or her meeting with a girl of the streets who throws her into the arms of a procurer. We will never forget the efforts of Jerry to earn money and help Angela. But how to find money in 1946, when you are black and do not speak Italian? The robbery, the arrest by the Military Police, the escape, Angela killed by the procurer, and the only conclusion, death, all follows simply … as simple as life. If one can say that. At no moment does Lattuada allow himself to go into “documentarism”, which is one of the failings of the contemporary Italian cinema. Documentary counts for Lattuada in so far as there is an action.
Jean-Charles Tacchella, “Oui, Angela a le droit d’aimer Jerry!”, L’Écran Français, no. 211, 11 July 1949