The Woman (1953)
Originally released in 1946, Desiderio (Desire) was one of Roberto Rossellini’s (1906–1977) first films. It is said to have been completed by his friend and fellow director, Marcello Pagliero (1907–1980), after Rossellini had purportedly run out of money and could no longer finish the production. The film was re-released in the U.S. in the 1950s as Woman. The lobby card’s tagline accentuates the film’s sexual quality, while downplaying its more tragic quality.
Originally censored in Italy before being re-edited, the film tells the story of a young call girl named Paola (Elli Parvo, 1915–2010) who attempts to escape her decadent life in Rome. She returns to her small mountain village and is forced to confront the same destructive and negative conditions that were present in the big city. She eventually commits suicide after being blackmailed by her brother- in-law and former lover.