Bitter rice

Bitter rice

Riso amaro

DVD - 2016 | Italian | Full screen edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
During planting season in Northern Italy's Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker falls in with a small-time criminal who is planning a daring heist of the crop, as well as his femme-fatale-ish girlfriend. Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : The Criterion Collection, [2016]
Edition: Full screen edition
ISBN: 9781551430928
Branch Call Number: DVDF BITTE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (109 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
DVD video,4 3/4 in
digital,optical,monaural,Dolby digital
fullscreen (1.33:1)
video file,DVD video,region 1
Alternative Title: Riso amaro


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 29, 2019

This 1949 film is black and white, but its characters are rather colorful. It changed my preoccupied impression towards Italy. Underneath constant wars and peerless arts, there is true life.

Nov 26, 2018

I found this a rather fun film - at moments serious and sincere, at others stereotypical and even campy. The most interesting aspect is the relationship between the two frenemies who are the main characters, and their gradual change over the course of the film. The actress who plays Silvana is an extraordinarily photogenic woman.

Apr 22, 2018

An amazing film, I wish the library had more Italian movies, especially from the neorealism age. A little pulpy but the writer, De Santis wanted people to be able to access his message. The film was shot and based on the Po River valley rice paddies which still exist. A very hard and sad look at post-war Italy and the effects the war had on the economy and the survivors.

Dec 13, 2017

Written and directed by Giuseppe De Santis in 1949, this Italian drama depicts a crime-and-love story in the Italian neorealism style.
Silvana Mangano represents an American cultural influence such as chewing gum and boogie-woogie dancing.
Overly-sexualized role of Mangano and the melodramatic presence of death and suicide in the film cause it to diverge from typical Italian neorealism.
Although planting in the rice-paddy seems quite interesting, the story appears not-so-well cultivated.

Nov 14, 2017

A fabulous Italian movie made in 1949. Bitter Rice was way ahead of its time. Such a movie could not have been made in North America in 1949. It is very erotic & sensual & artist. And, Bitter Rice managed to get around the 1949 sensors in North America & maintain this level of excellence. Bitter Rice is out of the Italian neo realism movement. The performance by Vittorio Gasman is fabulous. It was nominated for a screen writing academy award in 1950.

Jul 15, 2016

Italian title: "Riso Amaro"
English title: "Bitter Rice"
Virtually every major Italian filmmaker of the first half of the 20th century was either part of the neorealist movement or influenced by it. Favoring realistic stories, shooting on location, the working class, and non-professionals, it offered up a new kind of cinema that bypassed Hollywood glamour and aimed for something more authentic and political. "Bitter Rice," from 1949 is a newly discovered gem, thanks to a DVD release by Criterion, who has put out myriad great Italian films. Set among women rice workers in Northern Italy, it's both deeply rooted in the struggles of the poor women and in crime melodrama. Mostly director Giueseppe De Santis and screenwriter Carlo Lizaani, who is interviewed for one of the special features, mostly succeed in balancing the two elements. Breakthrough star Silvana Mangano is both earthy and sensual and anchors the film, even though the other three lead performances are strong as well. It could be accused of romanticizing the proletariat, but, hey, don't they deserve a little romance too? I'd also recommend "Shoeshine," "Bicycle Thieves," Rossellini's war trilogy, and "Il Posto." Really any of the Italian films released by Criterion are worthwhile.

Apr 27, 2016

This is classic Italian Cinema.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TPL

To Top