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Grinstein, A. (1953). “Miracle of Milan”: Some Psychoanalytic Notes on a Movie. Am. Imago, 10(3):229-245.

(1953). American Imago, 10(3):229-245

“Miracle of Milan”: Some Psychoanalytic Notes on a Movie

Alexander Grinstein, M.D.

Recently a new movie by the famous Italian director, Vittorio DeSica, made its appearance in theaters throughout this country. It won the Grand Prize of the Cannes Festival and the Grand Prize of the International Critics in 1951. The New York Film Critics awarded it “First Prize” as best foreign film for the last year. Unlike his other pictures, such as “Bicycle Thief” or “Shoeshine”, which express in a profound and deeply moving manner the intensity of human emotions in real life situations, this new picture evokes no such stirring experience. It is much more subtle in its appeal, yet delicate and sensitive in its understanding. DeSica, himself, describes the movie as a “fantasy.” “It is,” he says, “a fable suspended half-way between whimsey and reality — a fable that is intended more for grown-ups than for children, but still nothing but a fable.” ()

The story and screenplay of the movie are by Cesare Zavattini, based on his novel Toto Il Buono, (Toto, The Good). He is DeSica's closest collaborator and has also been the author of the script for “Shoeshine” and “The Bicycle Thief.”

For the benefit of those who have not had the opportunity to see this little film, I would like to sketch the plot. The picture opens with a scene of an old woman (old Lolatta) discovering a baby boy in her cabbage patch.

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