During planting season in Northern Italy’s Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker (Teorema’s seductive Silvana Mangano) falls in with a small-time criminal (Il sorpasso’s 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 (The Lost Weekend). 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 (Blue Velvet) and director Giuseppe De Santis (Days of Love) is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.

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