Italy, 1961
Director: Dino Risi
Producer: Dino De Laurentiis
Cast: Alberto Sordi, Lea Massari, Franco Fabrizi, Lina Valonghi
Screenwriter: Rodolfo Sonego
Cinematography: Leonida Barboni
Music: Carlo Savina
Genre: Comedy
Black & White
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Running Time: 119 minutes

Silvio (Alberto Sordi), a leftist resistance fighter turned journalist, tries to cling to his political convictions while it becomes increasingly difficult to provide for his family. His wife, Elena (Lea Massari), supports his idealism less and less and reproaches him for not wanting to take advantage of the Italian post-war economic miracle. When she leaves him, Silvio tries to win her back by agreeing to a compromise with a rich industrialist.

Scanned in 4K at L'Institut Luce from the original negative. Restoration and calibration carried out at VDM by Studiocanal.

Reviews and Quotes 2

“Alberto Sordi’s pungent embodiment of a left-wing pamphleteer who can’t prosper in a capitalist republic propels Risi’s deft seriocomic panorama from Mussolini’s fall to the rise of the postwar Roman oligarchy...The closest America has come to Alberto Sordi is Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in their prime, rolled into one.”
— Michael Sragow, Air Mail

Una Vita Difficile is Italian social realism at its finest, funniest, and most heartbreaking.”
— David Hudson, The Daily

"It sounds absurd to even contemplate: an unreleased 1961 epic romance starring the legendary Alberto Sordi that tackles the decades after WWII — a mixture of sentiment and grand historic sweep that the Italians always did so well — that’s somehow
just getting a U.S. release."
— Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

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