This is a deep, emotional study of a poor Southern Italian family of a widowed mother and her five sons, who come north to Milan, to find work. It is a family drama about this close-knit family. The main protagonists are the mother and two of her sons, Simone and Rocco. Simone has some success in the boxing ring and falls in love with a neighbour Nina, who is a prostitute. However, Simone brings violence from the boxing ring into his private life. His girlfiend leaves him and some time later, she gets involved with the gentle, decent Rocco. Eventually, there is a tragedy and the family is devastated. Although a somewhat long film, my interest did not falter at any time. The film is beautifully shot in black and white, brilliantly acted (particularly the mother played by Greek actress Katina Paxinou) and I came away thinking about its subject matter for a very long time afterwards. A good justification for my 5-star rating.