Plot: Leo (Vittorio De Sica) is young man trying to make a living without any success. Through fortuitous circumstances, he is assigned by the director of a big firm to accompany for one night the daughter of the firm’s accountant, Titi (María Mercader). Leo pretends then to be the son of a tycoon, and takes her in a luxurious restaurant.
More De Sica-Zavattini than Cottafavi.
The first directorial work of Cottafavi was born under the sign of a
parnership – perhaps not particularly congenial to him – which
established itself in that same year, 1943. This was the partnership
De Sica-Zavattini, here actor and writer, currently employed as
director and writer on I bambini ci guardano.
Adapted from the comedy of the same name by Ugo Betti, the script
of I nostri sogni has much of the feeling both of the Zavattini poetic,
linked to inter-class paradoxes, and of the gallery De Sica style of
street people interpreted by Camerini, who are suddenly called to
play a featured role in life. (…) The film is uneven, still far from the
style which, apart from the genre and production budget, distinguishes
the mature cinema of Cottafavi. But the style is already signaled
by various elements, involving the care for atmosphere and
the descriptive finesse of some existential situations. (…) We breathe
an air of Gozzano, of Monsù Travet, more regretful than mocking, as
it would be in the Italian-style comedy. In so far as the film is based,
chronologically, in the last glimmerings of the regime, it resists setting
out a defence of the working class, morally clean, the soul of
fascism, counterpointing the snobbism of the fashionable rich and
the somewhat clochard extravagance of the protagonist. But here
is also – and it is striking in that it is only hinted – the description of
the metropolis which gives work to all, where the publicity for products
acquires a social, economic and creative importance.
Marco Vanelli, I nostri sogni, «Ciemme», n. 127, March 1999