Synopsis by Robert Firsching
This clever melodrama from director Renato Castellani stars Anna Magnani as a hardbitten prostitute whose immorality rubs off on a naive woman (Giulietta Masina) in a women's prison. Taking the innocent Masina under her wing, Magnani corrupts her, but is secretly touched by her kind heart. On Magnani's advice, Masina makes a bargain with Adonis (Alberto Sordi), who framed her for burglary, promising silence in exchange for part of the loot. She is acquitted, but Magnani's lessons have changed Masina's life for the worse, and she returns to prison as a garishly sleazy hooker. Magnani is horrified, having gone through some psychological changes in the opposite direction herself. Renato Salvatori, Cristina Gajoni, and Milly Monti also appear in this entertaining Italian/French potboiler adapted by Castellani and Suso Cecchi D'Amico from Isa Mari's 1953 novel Roma, Via delle Mantellate. Several versions exist, running 110, 98, and 85 minutes.
corruption, frame-up, innocence, naivete, prison, prostitute/prostitution, redemption