Giuseppe De Santis

Bitter Rice

Bitter Rice

During planting season in Northern Italy’s Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker (Silvana Mangano) falls in with a small-time criminal (Vittorio Gassman) who is planning a daring heist of the crop, as well as his femme-fatale-ish girlfriend, played by the Hollywood star Doris Dowling. Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence, this early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis and director Giuseppe De Santis is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Giuseppe De Santis, a 2008 documentary by screenwriter Carlo Lizzani
  • Interview with Lizzani from 2003
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Pasquale Iannone

New cover by Ken Laager

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Giuseppe De Santis, a 2008 documentary by screenwriter Carlo Lizzani
  • Interview with Lizzani from 2003
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Pasquale Iannone

New cover by Ken Laager

Bitter Rice
Cast
Vittorio Gassman
Walter Granata
Doris Dowling
Francesca
Silvana Mangano
Silvana Meliga
Raf Vallone
Sergeant Marco Galli
Checco Rissone
Aristide
Nico Pepe
Beppe
Adriana Sivieri
Celeste
Lia Corelli
Amelia
Maria Grazia Francia
Gabriella
Dedi Ristori
Anna
Anna Maestri
Irene
Mariemma Bardi
Gianna
Maria Capuzzo
Emilia “Argentina” Carpenetti
Isabella Zennaro
Giuliana
Carlo Mazzarella
Gianetto “Mascheroni”
Ermanno Randi
Paolo
Antonio Nediani
Erminio
Mariano Englen
Foreman
Credits
Director
Giuseppe De Santis
Produced by
Dino De Laurentiis
Story by
Giuseppe De Santis
Story by
Carlo Lizzani
Story by
Gianni Puccini
Screenplay by
Corrado Alvaro
Screenplay by
Giuseppe De Santis
Screenplay by
Carlo Lizzani
Screenplay by
Carlo Musso
Screenplay by
Ivo Perilli
Screenplay by
Gianni Puccini
Cinematography by
Otello Martelli
Edited by
Gabriele Varriale
Costumes by
Anna Gobbi
Production director
Luigi De Laurentiis
Music by
Goffredo Petrassi

From The Current

Bitter Rice: A Field in Italy
Bitter Rice: A Field in Italy

In Bitter Rice, Giuseppe De Santis focused his lens on the world of Italy’s female rice workers, for a story that’s part social commentary, part pulp melodrama—and introduced the world to a dazzling young actress named Silvana Mangano.

By Pasquale Iannone

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Criterion Designs: Bitter Rice by Ken Laager
Criterion Designs: Bitter Rice by Ken Laager

The film is is a high-water mark in the careers of its director, actors, and cowriter. But for design nerds, the contributions of Pablo Ferro, who designed the film’s iconic opening credit sequence, are just as notable.

Matthew Weiner’s Top 10

Matthew Weiner is the award-winning creator, writer, and executive producer of the series Mad Men.