This was the film that Jules Dassin directed before regaining his popularity with such movies like Never On Sunday and Top Kapi,in the 60's.
This movie is about two couples who live in a Italian village. The first couple is about Gina Lollobrigida, as Marietta,who wants to marry enginneer Enrico, a rather poor guy, played by Marcello Mastoianni.
Yves Montand is playing Matteo, the crime boss of the little italian village, who wants Matietta for himself, and he is trying to get her.
The second couple is about the judge's wife,Donna Lucrezia, who is played by the beautiful Melina Mercouri, a woman trapped to a marriage with an older man. She falls in love with Matteo's son,Francesco, played by Raf Mattioli.
This a movie about passions under the hot Italian sun, where the unspeakable law of the powerfull people resolve to tragedies and tears.
The good with this movie, is that it has a beautiful cast. Yves Montand, Marcello Mastroianni and Melina Mercouri are excellent as always. Gina Lollobrigida ties her best...and that's more than enough.
The direction of Jules Dassin is very good, the only thing that is really annoying and may make you not wanting to see this black and white poetry at all is that someone has decided that the voices of Mercouri, and Mastroianni were not good enough, and they have been covered by voices of other actors. Also, although I like the movie very much, I have to admitt, that some times it seems rather dated, in some scenes.