A surprising outing from Matarazzo: the king of the Italian melodrama, with an exciting comedy
A joyful and light-hearted adventure into the world of children, where crime doesn’t pay
The king of the Italian melodrama, in his penultimate film, makes a surprising foray into comedy. The main protagonists are children, and Raffaello Matarazzo demonstrates that rare skill of being able to get the best out of his young actors, preserving their spontaneity while at the same time perfectly integrating them into the unfolding of the story. The resulting film is fast-paced and lots of fun, and highlights Matarazzo’s ability to master themes that at first glance appear incompatible. The film’s joyful, light-hearted and innocent feel, at times steps to the side to suggest disturbingly violent home environments. Armando Trovajoli’s delightfully witty score adds another level to proceedings.
A group of children find a newborn baby in a field and first think about selling it to the gypsies, then about trying to collect the reward that a benefactor has promised to whoever finds the missing infant. They are interested in buying football kits to form a “real” team. But the baby will find its way back to its mother, and the young friends, instead of getting money, will be scolded by their parents.