In filmmaker Luchino Visconti's bold and bruising masterpiece, five Southern Italian brothers looking for opportunity move with their mother to Milan. Simone and Rocco find fame in the boxing ring and love, with the same woman—Nadia. Jealousy mounts, blood is shed, and a striving family faces self-destruction.
This incisive, sensuous, powerful masterwork from director Visconti (The Leopard, Senso) features an operatic Nino Rota score and Giuseppe Rotunno’s glimmering, on-location cinematography. Rocco and His Brothers “represents the artistic apotheosis of Italian neorealism,” says A.O. Scott of The New York Times. Drawing from Dostoevsky and Thomas Mann, Visconti arranges his signature themes—modernity, class tension, familial discord—across an epic canvas that directly influenced later Italian-American sagas by Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Alain Delon, Annie Girardot, Renato Salvatori, and Claudia Cardinale lead the cast of gorgeous unknowns who rose to stardom in the wake of this film’s bow at the 1960 Venice Film Festival, where it was greeted with scandal and won the Special Jury Prize.
Painstakingly restored in 4K by the Film Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna, Rocco and His Brothers has never looked or sounded so pristine. Praised by Scorsese as “one of the most sumptuous black-and-white pictures,” Rocco’s baroque, impassioned majesty can once again be experienced as its filmmakers intended.
“Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece can be experienced once again in all its fearsome beauty and power.”— Martin Scorsese
“A masterpiece…a film of extraordinary range and ambition.” — Dave Kehr