Miracle in Milan (1951)

by Milos Itic on May 21, 2012

Good morning, Reader!

Once upon a time… there was a man called Vitorio De Sica. He picked a fantasy tale, put it in a neorealistic setting and made the movie “Miracle in Milan“. Toto is an abandoned child who is taken in by a nice old lady named Lolotta. Later, when she dies, Toto, an orphan boy begins living with a bunch of struggling beggars, squatters and thiefs, who are trying to survive the post-war period in Milan’s landfill of the town. Soon with his ogranizing skills, he becomes their leader, helping them to rebuild their hovels. When oil is discovered on the land, the poor man’s lives become dependant on the landlord Mobbi. Lolotta helps Toto again. The story is written by the great neorealist writer Cesare Zavattini. Francesco Golisano plays the young man Toto.


Haunting and bitter satire of cold, cruel and brutal capitalism in big industrial cities in Europe after the break off of communism. Milan in Italy is a typical prosperous industrial town. There is smoke and fog everywhere, a mixture of grey and dark city colors.

The film is similar to Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” with the same social warnings. The film looks like “magical realism” cinema movement, but we might say it is “Magical Neorealism”.

Toto presents humanity. “Hope on deliverance“. The contrast between the rich and poor. Symbol of statue. Depression versus hope. Cheer-full Anthem of homeless people you can find everywhere. The power of “Good Will”. He came with a hope to the land of suffering.

miracle_in_milan window

Vitorio De Sica: “I tried to find the meaning of a little word that likes to hide everywhere; it is goodness. I beg you to tell me if you find it here in these images, if you recognize it at least here and there.”

Eternal optimist Toto, with a smile full of hope and joy, breaks through the cold clouds, to let the sun in and to paint new replacement for absence of human solidarity in this allegorical presentation of Vitorio De Sica.

“All we need is a shack, to live and sleep in,
All we need is a bit of ground, to live and die on,
All we want is a pair of shoes, some socks and a little bread,
That is all we need, to believe in tomorrow.”



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