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also known as La Loi | Where the Wind Blows

The Law1959

  • 3.7
THE LAW (previously released in the US as WHERE THE WIND BLOWS) stars Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Yves Montand, Melina Mercouri and Pierre Brasseur. Lollobrigida plays Marietta, the gorgeous housekeeper to Don Cesare (Brasseur), the patriarch of a small Mediterranean coastal town. Lusted after by many men, including Francesco (Montand), the son of a local crime boss, Marietta has her own desires, consisting of the poor Enrico (Mastroianni). Determined to secure the dowry that will enable her to marry Enrico, Marietta connives the men of the town by turning the tables on them using their own vicious drinking game which they call "The Law."

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4 members like this review

Italian neorealism reimagined by film noir auteur Jules Dassin--as a lighthearted comedy with musical interludes and a happy ending (after a little theft, violence, and a death or two). "The Naked Village," as the film might also be called, drops all the grittiness of urban settings in favor of timeless vices that the hot Mediterranean sun bakes into otherworldly local color. Subtly stylized--with a Greek "chorus" of the unemployed and semi-criminal, the occasional "art-house" camera angle, and unconventional imagery (e.g., sheep among human bathers, odd domestic furnishings)--the movie moves gracefully between the natural and the contrived. A bit "new wave," but with a classical touch. Featuring an all-star cast including the toothsome Gina Lollobrigida and the dashing Marcello Mastroianni. Presumably, this movie remains largely unknown because it's difficult to classify. For all the weird genre-crossing, it coheres extraordinarily well. A+.

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Member Reviews (2)

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top reviewer

Italian neorealism reimagined by film noir auteur Jules Dassin--as a lighthearted comedy with musical interludes and a happy ending (after a little theft, violence, and a death or two). "The Naked Village," as the film might also be called, drops all the grittiness of urban settings in favor of timeless vices that the hot Mediterranean sun bakes into otherworldly local color. Subtly stylized--with a Greek "chorus" of the unemployed and semi-criminal, the occasional "art-house" camera angle, and unconventional imagery (e.g., sheep among human bathers, odd domestic furnishings)--the movie moves gracefully between the natural and the contrived. A bit "new wave," but with a classical touch. Featuring an all-star cast including the toothsome Gina Lollobrigida and the dashing Marcello Mastroianni. Presumably, this movie remains largely unknown because it's difficult to classify. For all the weird genre-crossing, it coheres extraordinarily well. A+.

4 members like this review
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The Law (1959) (aka Where The Wind Blows) directed by Jules Dassin is a very entertaining and very interesting film. The cinematography is very good, with some interesting camera positions. Although it's a French Language film, it's set in Italy, replete with Italian social customs and social norms, and features two Italian heavyweight stars of that era. The storyline, although somewhat contrived, is made very believable by good writing, good acting, and good direction. The storyline is very interesting because of its complexity, and a fair amount of plot twists. There's no heavy message, or esoteric symbolism here, just a good old fashion yarn that's told in a very interesting and entertaining manner. The game in this story, The Law, played at several levels from a literal level in a bar to symbolic levels woven through the whole social fabric of this small Italian seaside town, is rather a rather ruthless "power game". I never heard of such a game before viewing this film, but it made the film very interesting, at all the levels that the game was played. I'd definitely recommend this film.

1 member likes this review