A poor peasant family from Southern Italy – a mother and her five sons – move to Milan, where the urban jungle lies in wait. Neo-realism at its grittiest vies with grandstanding melodrama in Luchino Visconti’s three-hour intimate epic, backed by Nino Rota’s heartfelt score. The film’s divided into five chapters, one for each of the brothers, but the main focus falls on the genial, brutal Simone (Renato Salvatori in his finest role) and the saintly Rocco (a less convincing Alain Delon). As Nadia, the local hooker who comes between them, Annie Girardot gives the film’s standout performance, vulnerable beneath her streetsmart carapace. This original release version also restores everything cut by the squeamish Italian authorities.