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The Children Are Watching Us (1944)

I bambini ci guardano (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 25 April 1947 (USA)
A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives.


Vittorio De Sica


Cesare Giulio Viola (novel), Cesare Giulio Viola (screenplay) | 5 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilio Cigoli Emilio Cigoli ... Andrea - il padre
Luciano De Ambrosis Luciano De Ambrosis ... Pricò
Isa Pola ... Nina - la madre
Adriano Rimoldi ... Roberto - l'amante di Nina
Giovanna Cigoli Giovanna Cigoli ... Agnese - la governante
Jone Frigerio Jone Frigerio ... La nonna (as Ione Frigerio)
Maria Gardena Maria Gardena ... La signora Uberti
Dina Perbellini Dina Perbellini ... Zia Berelli
Nicoletta Parodi Nicoletta Parodi ... Giuliana
Tecla Scarano Tecla Scarano ... La signora Resta
Ernesto Calindri Ernesto Calindri ... Claudio
Olinto Cristina Olinto Cristina ... Il rettore - The Chancellor
Mario Gallina Mario Gallina ... Il medico
Zaira La Fratta Zaira La Fratta ... Paolina
Armando Migliari Armando Migliari ... Il commendatore


The film follows the anguish of the four-year-old, Prico, after his mother, Nina, leaves his father, Andrea, for her lover Roberto. Prico is sent to his aunt and then to his grandmother. Nina returns when Prico is sick and vows to give up Roberto, even though he persists in seeing her. The family situation gradually improves until they take a holiday on the Italian Riviera. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The tragic story of a boy of unhappy parents and his struggle for happiness! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 April 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Martyr See more »

Filming Locations:

Piazza Zama, Roma RM, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (1980)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Luciano De Ambrosis was chosen to play Prico because his mother died shortly before filming - which helped him to cry on command. See more »


Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A neorealizmus (1990) See more »


Maramao perché sei morto?
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User Reviews

Well Worth Seeing
17 March 2014 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

Usually, a film about the passions of people, the struggles between propriety and desires, deals with the children of those involved merely by mentioning that the children are a consideration, like factors. The Children Are Watching Us centers the action around the son of a couple embroiled in the heartaches of an extra-marital affair. Although the story considers the emotions of the adults, it is the child's emotions that are at the heart of this story.

The young actor, Luciano De Ambrosis, portrays the child so well, the viewer is never taken out of the story. The director focuses on his eyes to remind us that children see (and sense) more than adults think they do.

It has been written that the action of this movie is filmed from the child's point of view, but this is not technically correct. As viewers, we see the actions of the parents and the child. What makes this film different is that the camera continually returns to the child and focuses on his actions, which are obviously in response to the actions of the adults. Other films have centered on children, but The Children Are Watching Us juxtaposes and intertwines the actions of the adults and the actions of the child, creating a clear cause and effect relationship between the two.

The son, Prico, has little control over the events of his life. This is a reality that children have to live with. The film conveys this well. Prico uses few words of dissent. He does not express his unhappiness verbally. But his eyes convey those feelings better than words ever could and underscore the fact that he has no say in the events that shape his life.

The photography in this B&W film is striking. The scenes are composed intelligently. Sometimes the camera focuses on the magnitude of buildings or spaces, emphasizing the smallness of a child.

This is a film that drags emotions out of the viewer by emphasizing the helplessness of children and the universality of its theme.

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