The Peddler and the Lady
(Campo de' Fiori)
Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani, Caterina Boratto, Peppino De Filippo,
As Elide, a produce hawker in Rome’s open-air market, Magnani created the first of the raucous working-class characters that would become her trademark. Elide harbors a sniping affection for fishmonger Peppino (Aldo Fabrizi, who would rejoin Magnani two years later in Rome Open City). For most of the film she plays a noisy second fiddle to Elsa (Caterina Boratto), the object of Peppino’s class-climbing desire and an emblem of all that Elide is not: blonde, elegant, well-mannered. But, as Peppino eventually discovers, elegance isn’t everything. Magnani’s expansive energy is well matched by Fabrizi, who is by turns boisterous and poignant.