Amidst Italy's "economic miracle" ("il boom") of the early 1960s, everybody's dancing to Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and getting filthy rich— everyone except archetypal Everyman loser Alberto Sordi who's in hock to his eyeballs. And everyone in Rome seems to know it, except his beloved status-proud wife Gianna Maria Canale. But then rich, rich matron Elena Nicolai offers him a way out: enough lire to get out of debt and to re-establish himself, but at what cost? De Sica's longstanding left-wing sociopolitical concerns are preserved in this biting satire made even blacker by Piero Piccioni's persistently perky score, and a script by De Sica’s longtime collaborator Cesare Zavattini (Shoeshine, The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D., Gold of Naples).
Never released in the United States, de Sica's Il Boom closes July 13. Screening at Film Forum.