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Miracle in Milan

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Original title
Miracolo a Milano
Running time
92 min.
Italy Italy
Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica, Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Mario Chiari, Adolfo Franci
Alessandro Cicognini
G. R. Aldo
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Produzioni De Sica (PDS) / Ente Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche (ENIC)
Comedy. Drama | Poverty. Neorealism
Synopsis / Plot
Once upon a time, in the story of Vittorio De Sica's MIRACLE IN MILAN, an old woman, Lolotta (Emma Grammatica), discovered a young child in her cabbage patch. She cared for him until her death, at which time the boy, Toto (Francesco Golizano), was placed into an orphanage. When Toto is released from the orphanage at 18, his generous, unruffled, amiable nature inspires shantytown squatters to improve their huts and enjoy the beauty of the world. But as they begin to rebulid, digging into the ground, the squatters strike oil. This discovery causes the landowner (Paolo Stoppa) to evict them, as he wants the oil all to himself. A private police force attacks the squatters, but the old woman, Lolotta, drops down from heaven to give Toto a magical dove which repels the police. The squatters celebrate by requesting wishes from the dove. Each wish is more grandiose than the previous and when a vagrant asks for the sun to rise, angels arrive to reclaim the dove. Without the dove's help, the police easily overwhelm the vagrants. As Toto and his friends are carted off, Lolotta appears again with the dove, offering Toto and the villagers a last chance at safety and happiness. Based on a novel by Cesare Zavattini, this charming film combines sharp editing and stylized mise-en-scene to create a unique and socially conscious fairy tale.
1951: Cannes Film Festival: Palme d´Or (Golden Palm) Best Picture
1951: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Foreign Language Picture
1951: National Board of Review: Top Best Foreign Films
1952: BAFTA Awards: Nominated for Best Film and Foreign Actor (F. Golisano)
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