- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 24 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: January 24, 2006
- Originally Released: 1943
- Label: Criterion
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Mono - Italian
- Subtitles - English - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Interviews: Luciano de Ambrosis, Callisto Cosulich - Star, Scholar
- Additional Products:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 09/12/1986
"...An important footnote to the DeSica career....A sincerely serious film..."
New York Times - 03/28/2006
"The film is an exercise in almost pure pathos, structured as a series of abandonments..."
This early Neo-realist drama tells the story of a family torn apart by infidelity from the perspective of the family's only son, Prico (Luciano De Ambrosis). Prico, who is five years old, has always been close with his mother, Nina (Isa Pola). When she begins an affair with a young gigolo (Adriano Rimoldi), Prico desperately tries to save his family. However, he soon realizes that his parents' marriage is doomed. Prico's relationship with his mom starts to crumble as well. Just when it seems that things couldn't get any worse, a terrible tragedy strikes.
THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US, based on the novel PRICO by Cesare Giulio Viola, was De Sica's fifth film as a director, but the first worthy of worldwide and historical attention. This story of marital infidelity is witnessed from the perspective of Prico (Luciano De Ambrosis), the five year old son of parents whose marriage is crumbling. Prico is devoted to his mother (Isa Pola), but loses his innocence and sense of security when he discovers that she is having an affair. As his family life crumbles around him, Prico is sent off to a Jesuit Boarding School. At home, his mother's extra-marital affair leads to the suicide of Prico's father (Emilio Cigoli). Precocious Prico blames his mother for orphaning him, and rejects her when she comes to pick him up from the boarding school. The depth of Ambrosis's performance is startling as De Sica takes up a theme that carries through much of his serious work: that of the personal torments which resulted from the moral decay of Italy under the fascists.
Family Interaction |
- United States theatrical release: 1947.
- THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US was the first collaboration between director De Sica and writer Zavattini.
- The duo would go on to make twenty-five films together, which included many of De Sica's most critically acclaimed works.
- Child actor Luciano De Ambrosis was himself orphaned just a week before filming began.
- Additional cast: Isa Pola (Nina) and Adriano Rimoldi (Roberto).