A Day in Court (1954)

A Day in Court (1954)

Released: 1954
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Genre
Director: Steno
Starring: Alberto Sordi, Silvana Pampanini, Peppino De Filippo, ,
Run time: 88 min
IMDb: 6.5/10
Country: Italy
Views: 185222


Magistrate (Judge) Del Russo presides over four cases brough before him during a period of one day. “Adultery in 16mm” focus on Elena who brings her salesman husband to court on charges of abandonment where he springs surprise evidence involving her affair with her lawyer. In “The Priest and the Prostitute,” Don Michele, a young priest, is charged with wrecking a pool room who claims he was robbed by Anna, a prostitute, and beaten by her pimp. In “Indecent Exposure,” Meniconi is a man arrested for indecent exposure who claims he was swimming in the nude and his clothes where stolen. The last case “Lustful Lieutenant,” involves Gloriana, a middle-aged prostitute, who’s brought before Del Russo on charges of soliciting and who apparently knew Del Russo from a time years ago.
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User Reviews: A delightful vignette of short stories, expertly woven in a continuity, with the common thread being the Judge of the small town court. The movie is a comedy-satire, till the last story, which brings a lump in throat, from a very prolific director, Steno.

The story, as the name implies, are the stories of various cases that are brought in the court, and the strictly-by-book judgement given by the main protagonist, the judge, that is till the last case.

The cases (except the last one), is each highly comic, but, as the initial screen says, and I agree to it, are possible in real life, though need not be tried on the same day at the same court.

The Judge, pronounced sentences, despite agreeing even on record, that the guilty party wasn’t really guilty, but was forced to do minor misdemeanor, that too due to circumstances beyond his control.

For example a man was forced to walk naked, when his clothes was confiscated by a policeman, who had been called back to station, before he could return the clothes and arrest him for nude bathing in a lake where he wasn’t supposed to (in sea, was hinted to be OK). In fact to protect his modesty, the man remained hidden in the bushes till it was dark, and then only ventured out. Or the priest, who too didn’t do anything wrong, and was caught up in a gambling-den brawl, neither initiated, nor participated by him, and in fact he saved a woman from her downfall. But the code said that these people were guilty, and sentence were pronounced, though may not be too harsh.
There are two glorious women in the cast, that is at least two, Sophia Loren as pick-pocket, and even more comely Silvana Pampanini, the faded superstar, now keeping a lodge, both (probably) to boost income, indulging in the oldest profession.
It hints on that even the strict judge becomes fallible, when some one close to his heart, arrives as an accused, and then he forces himself to relook at the ethics of the law itself.
Gripping movie, well knit, can be watched as comedy, or as satire, and re-look as life, as the judge tried to.

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