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Shoeshine

Director:  Vittorio De Sica
Year Released:  1946
Rating:  2.0

Goes way overboard with the melodrama and tear jerking mechanics as families and friends are turned against one another by a cruel prison/social system: brothers wail on each other with belts and friendships are ruined. Children/teenagers act tough and cruel until they are broken down by the unfair authorities (who have no redeeming facets or human qualities) and cry and huddle up in fetal position to show their sadness - it has the subtlety of a public hanging. De Sica's movies are always free flowing, and this is no exception, but the moralizing is one-sided and the acting leaves much to be desired ('neo-realism' - in some instances - translates to 'shaky performances').

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