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also known as Le mani sulla città

Hands Over the City1963

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  • 4.2
Rod Steiger is ferocious as a scheming land developer in Francesco Rosi's HANDS OVER THE CITY, a blistering work of social realism and the winner of the 1963 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion. This expose of the politically driven real-estate speculation that has devastated Naples's civilian landscape moves breathlessly from a cataclysmic building collapse to the backroom negotiations of civic leaders vying for power in a city council election, laying bare the inner workings of corruption with passion and outrage.

Member Reviews (3)

top reviewer

i really liked this_didn't expect to because i'm not a Rod Steiger fan_but it's all well done super shot_the building collapse & crowd scenes are great_politics is a dirty business so is government & religion that hasn't changed_it's all about greasing the palm power & grabbing what you can

"Hands over the City," because it's not just Naples, it's your city, my city, many cities we all know. I love that Rosi made this film just prior to the NFB's Challenge for Change program in Canada, during which similar kinds of shenanigans, in Canadian cities, were documented.

Scathing critique of corruption in the city council in Naples, where the buildings commissioner is the city's chief contractor, securing that the council grants his company its prestigious assignments. The formally brilliant, starkly impressive black & white cinematography has a documentary feel that is maintained in the direction and acting, and all is shot in widescreen on location in Naples. The film is one in a handful of hugely important and, not least, superb titles of the period in Europe and Hollywood that insisted on a social conscience, but were also sadly open to the reality of defeat.