Sign in to follow this  
cinemaspeak59

Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

4 posts in this topic

Well, I finally saw this on TCM, and what a cinematic experience.  Rocco and His Brothers is now one of my favorites.  The story serves as a history lesson for how Italy was in 1960.  There's trenchant social commentary without being didactic (Southern, provincial Italians moving to a big city with all the temptations, being called hicks by the Milanese elite, and feeling like strangers in their own country).  And most of all, it's a story about the fragile bonds of family.  A great film directed by the great Luchino Visconti, who always had a soft spot for the downtrodden Neapolitan folk.

Rocco and His Brothers could have easily descended into melodrama in the hands of a lesser director.  But Visconti keeps it grounded in the neorealist tradition.  All the performances are wonderful.  The ending left an impression on me.  When Ciro expresses to his youngest brother Luca, who is still a child, his hope that in 20 years, when Luca enters adulthood, Luca will find the world a better place, is a sentiment passed down through the ages.  Alain Delon as Rocco represents an ideal.  He’s almost Christ-like in his mission to save lost souls, such as his brother Simone (a smoldering Renato Salvatori), who is on a self-destructive path toward gangsterism. Rocco befriends and falls in love with the prostitute Nadia (Annie Girardot), who has rejected Simone, but it’s more to help her escape her endless cycle of exploitation and violence.

Bit characters and scenes stay with you.  I was struck by the fashionable laundromat where Rocco works, and his interactions with the attractive female workers.

Rocco and His Brothers is an uplifting drama.  There’s much tragedy, certainly, but also beauty in a family coping with the timeless, dueling forces of change and continuity.    

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you, Luchino Viscounti made such great films - their stature increases over the many decades.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1960 was quite a year in Italian cinema.  In addition to Rocco and His Brothers, there was La Dolce Vita (Fellini) L’Avventura (Antonioni) and Two Women (De Sica). 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2017 at 12:16 PM, cinemaspeak59 said:

1960 was quite a year in Italian cinema.  In addition to Rocco and His Brothers, there was La Dolce Vita (Fellini) L’Avventura (Antonioni) and Two Women (De Sica). 

In New York City, when "La Dolce Vita" opened, it was treated like an theater attraction - you had to buy tickets in advance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us