A Difficult Life

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A Difficult Life
(Una vita difficile)
Una vita difficile.jpg
Directed by Dino Risi
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Written by Rodolfo Sonego
Starring Alberto Sordi
Lea Massari
Franco Fabrizi
Claudio Gora
Music by Carlo Savina
Cinematography Leonida Barboni
Release date
19 December 1961
Running time
118 min
Language Italian

A Difficult Life (Italian: Una vita difficile) is a Commedia all'italiana or Italian-style comedy film directed by Dino Risi in 1961.


Silvio (Alberto Sordi) is an Italian partisan. He and his companions belong to the Italian resistance movement and are fighting against the fascists and the Nazis. They are at Lake Como. He is helped by Elena (Lea Massari). He spends three months hiding in Elena's grandfather's mill. They fall in love. Silvio is an idealist, probably communist, journalist writer. He goes back to war.

The film spans the story of Italy from 1944 to 1960, from the times of poverty in World War II to the birth of the Italian Republic, the elections and Silvio's ideals of the Italian Communist Party, his stay in jail, his disappointments, his crises with Elena, his attempts to get his works published and to sell his film scripts in Cinecittà to Alessandro Blasetti, Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman (they appear as themselves).


Cult scenes[edit]

Some scenes are famous in the history of Italian cinema[citation needed]: the dinner at Princess' palace with the referendum of the Italian Republic; when Silvio asks a shepherd guard, "Dimmi, pastore, tu sei felice?". (Tell me, are you happy?); when a drunken Silvio spits at all the cars that drive by on the road after his wife had escaped from a night club in a very long piano sequenza shoot.

External links[edit]