Adua and Friends

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Adua and Friends
(Adua e le compagne)
Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli
Produced by Moris Ergas
Written by Ruggero Maccari, Antonio Pietrangeli, Ettore Scola, Tullio Pinelli
Starring Sandra Milo, Marcello Mastroianni, Simone Signoret
Music by Piero Piccioni
Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi
Edited by Eraldo Da Roma
Distributed by Titanus
Release date
Running time
106 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Adua and Friends (Italian: Adua e le compagne), also known as Hungry For Love, is a 1960 Italian film directed by Antonio Pietrangeli with a collaborative screenplay by the film's director together with Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola and Tullio Pinelli. The movie is about four prostitutes who start a restaurant after their brothel is shut down by the Merlin law, which made brothels illegal in Italy.


In 1958 the Merlin law made brothels illegal in Italy. Adua, Lolita, Marilina and Millie are four prostitutes whose brothel in Rome is shut down. Under Adua's leadership, they pool their savings, 500,000 lire apiece, to open a restaurant on the outskirts of Rome. They buy a run-down building, and hire workmen to fix it up, but when they apply to open the restaurant, their permit is rejected because of their history of prostitution. One of Adua's former customers, Ercoli, agrees to buy the building, use his connections, and get the permit in his name, but he expects them to run the restaurant as a front and work as a brothel on the upper floors, in return for a rent of 1 million lire a month.

The restaurant turns out to be unexpectedly successful, and the women start to lead respectable lives. But the restaurant doesn't earn as much as they could make as a brothel, and they can't pay Ercoli his 1 million lire rent. Ercoli gives them an ultimatum: start working as prostitutes again, and pay him his rent, or he will kick them out in 24 hours. When Ercoli returns, Adua refuses, humiliates him, and he leaves. In revenge, he has them all arrested for prostitution, their pictures are in the newspapers, and their respectable lives are destroyed. Adua ends up working in the streets again.



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