Il Boom

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Il Boom
Il Boom.jpg
Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Written by Cesare Zavattini
Starring Alberto Sordi
Gianna Maria Canale
Music by Piero Piccioni (Wheels composed by Billy Vaughn)
Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi
Edited by Adriana Novelli
Release dates
August 30, 1963
Running time
97 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Il Boom is a 1963 commedia all'italiana film by Italian director Vittorio de Sica.

The "boom" in the title was the Italian economic miracle which transformed the country in the span of a decade, from the late 1950s to the onset of the 1970s. Back in the day Italian media adopted the actual English word to indicate it, while other countries opted for national words like Wirtschaftswunder and Trente Glorieuses to indicate similar phenomena. See also post-war economic boom.


Giovanni Alberti, a small building contractor in the years of boom, is heavily in debt because of his poor skills in business but above all because of its high standard of living, which he strives to maintain at all costs, even pressured by his beautiful and frivolous wife Silvia (Gianna Maria Canale), whom he loves deeply. After Giovanni, who was unable to repay a large loan, called for financial support to family and friends getting alleged derogatory waste (his mother is the only person who would be willing to help him, but she is not rich enough to do it), suddenly the wife of a rich manufacturer, Mrs. Bausetti, gives him a private appointment advancing an attractive deal. Giovanni even suspect that the elderly lady wishes to be his lover, but in fact Mrs. Bausetti, used to getting all that she wants with her money and her cold, dismissive and seemingly conciliatory manner, wants Giovanni to sell a cornea to her husband, who long before had been blinded in one eye by an accident with quicklime. They could afford to, the woman calmly explains, so not worth the cornea implant of a dead stranger, but it is preferable to propose such an arrangement, though obviously illegal, to a young and healthy man in need of money. Meanwhile, the news that Giovanni is ruined is spread; Silvia, feeling betrayed and forced to give up prosperity, not even considers the idea of making sacrifices to help her husband, but returns to the family home with her two years old son. Giovanni, desperate for the abandonment of his wife, ends up accepting the proposal in secret of the Bausettis and accepts in advance, staring at this for the next week. With the money, he claims to have won in a lucky deal, the man organized a lavish reception in his splendid apartment of EUR, in revenge of acquaintances who had humiliated and to regain the esteem of Silvia, which, removed the specter of poverty, does not hesitate to make it up and to declare herself proud of him. Everything seems to go smoothly, but the removal of the eye rests. Giovanni, with his wife pretending to go on a business trip, is in the private clinic of confidence Bausetti as agreed, but at the time of the transaction runs away in despair. The intervention of Mrs. Bausetti, as usual polished and controlled, manages to convince him to live up to the agreement: even assuming that Giovanni gave up the money offered by the couple and gave them back the advance payment, how would he remedy his hardship, and therefore keep his family together? Giovanni, resigned, goes back to the clinic.


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