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Full of Life
     

Full of Life

Director: Richard Quine

Cast: Judy Holliday, Richard Conte, Salvatore Baccaloni

 
When Emily Rocco (Judy Holliday) waddles into view at the beginning of Full of Life, her appearance marked a cinematic breakthrough; seldom had so pregnant a leading lady ever appeared on an American movie screen. With her baby's birthdate only a month away, Emily and her husband Nick (Richard Conte) prepare for first-time parenthood. What they aren't prepared

Overview

When Emily Rocco (Judy Holliday) waddles into view at the beginning of Full of Life, her appearance marked a cinematic breakthrough; seldom had so pregnant a leading lady ever appeared on an American movie screen. With her baby's birthdate only a month away, Emily and her husband Nick (Richard Conte) prepare for first-time parenthood. What they aren't prepared for is Nick's Italian-bricklayer father (Salvatore Baccaloni) who descends upon their humble household with the intention of ruling the roost. Most of all, Papa wants Nick and Emily to go through a proper Catholic wedding, since he doesn't consider their civil ceremony valid. This situation is good for a few laughs, but far funnier is the all-too-typical erratic behavior of expectant mother Emily. Adapted by John Fante from his own novel, Full of Life effortlessly runs the gamut from warm family comedy to outrageous slapstick and back again.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
Though novelist John Fante thought his literary career was over and forgotten by the time he started writing screenplays for Hollywood, his work gained critical prominence in the years following his death in 1983, and those who appreciate the pithy textures of his classic books will find similar qualities hiding in the corners of this domestic comedy. Adapted from his 1952 book, Fante is once again exploring his own life in a semi-autobiographical setting, this time the days leading up to the birth of his first child, when he is forced to reckon with the family heritage he had abandoned after leaving home. It's certainly lighthearted Hollywood fare, but Full of Life is also full of earthy edges, supplying gentle laughs and warm homilies without ignoring the realities of living. As Emily Rocco, Judy Holliday is fully pregnant in a film era that was squeamish about such blunt depictions of the "condition," and though her hormonal craziness is played for laughs, it isn't exaggerated for comic effect. Richard Conte, as Fante alter ego Nick Rocco, pigheadedly rejects his family's old world values in a desperate battle against his ethnicity. Salvatore Baccaloni is outlandishly Italian as Nick's hard-drinking father, boiling over with emotional hand gestures and broken English, but in his hands Papa never feels like a stereotype. The arguments over Catholicism which form the backbone of the story deal with the complicated reasons behind people's decisions to believe or not believe, and Nick's return to the church feels natural. The climactic childbirth doesn't shy away from Emily's pain and exhaustion, and modern viewers might be shocked by her casual cigarette and wine consumption while carrying the baby. Full of Life was a hit and Fante's screenplay won the Writers Guild of America Screen Award for Best Written Comedy the following year, but the writer never found the same satisfaction with his script work that he did with his novels. While not nearly as raw and truthful as books like "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" or "Ask the Dust," Fante readers should find interest in this big screen adaptation.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2012
UPC:
0043396415416
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sales rank:
50,068

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Holliday Emily Rocco
Richard Conte Nick Rocco
Salvatore Baccaloni Papa Rocco
Esther Minciotti Mama Rocco
Joe de Santis Father Gondolfo
Silvio Minciotti Joe Muto
Penny Santon Carla
Arthur Lovejoy Mr. Jameson
Eleanor Audley Mrs. Jameson
Trudy Marshall Nora Gregory
Walter Conrad John Gregory
Sam Gilman Dr. Atchison

Technical Credits
Richard Quine Director
Louis Diage Set Decoration/Design
George Duning Score Composer
John Fante Screenwriter
William Flannery Art Director
William Kiernan Set Decoration/Design
Fred Kohlmar Producer
Charles Lawton Cinematographer
Charles Nelson Editor
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Full of Life
1. Chapter 1 [10:18]
2. Chapter 2 [9:43]
3. Chapter 3 [10:10]
4. Chapter 4 [9:44]
5. Chapter 5 [10:17]
6. Chapter 6 [9:33]
7. Chapter 7 [9:39]
8. Chapter 8 [10:38]
9. Chapter 9 [10:57]

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