This comedic charmer is a sparkling example of the stylishly sophisticated entertainment that Italy produced prior to World War II. An elegant young Vittorio De Sica stars as a bookish academic, who, when a vivacious, sports-mad socialite (the single-monikered Milly) crash-lands (literally) into his life, experiences both joie de vivre and romantic complications. In one of her earliest screen appearances, Magnani—looking less like Mamma Roma and, with bobbed hair and penciled eyebrows, more like an MGM starlet—makes a strong impression as a scheming maid; even in a relatively small role the force of her irrepressible personality shines through. The cherry on top is the film’s delightful climax, an inventive, sight gag–filled homage to silent slapstick. 35mm print from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.
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