Two years before they starred opposite each other in Rome Open City, Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi headlined this bittersweet comedy. He plays a humble fishmonger in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori marketplace who winds up way out of his league when he begins wooing a beautiful young woman (Caterina Boratto) who’s not all she seems. Meanwhile, Magnani—in the first of the earthy everywoman roles she would become known for—provides emotional gravitas as the brash, secretly-in-love-with-him fruit seller who pulls him back down to earth. The simple premise is lent nice depth by Magnani and Fabrizi, both nimbly balancing humor and heartstring-plucking poignancy. 35mm print from Istituto Luce Cinecittà.
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