A fierce and determined stage struck mother (Anna Magnani) enters her daughter (Tina Apicella) in a studio contest looking for a little girl to star in their next movie, even if it means destroying her marriage. While not a comedy as such, there are some devastating dramatic moments, one doesn't normally associate Luchino Visconti with wit and humor. This is perhaps his most sentimental (in a good way) film. Visconti turns an agile eye on the lure of the movies and how it grips those who want to be a part of it. When Magnani watches an outdoor screening of Hawks' RED RIVER, we can see how she's transformed by cinema and all its promises. Magnani is, of course, the driving force of the film (Bette Davis called her performance brilliant). She's spectacular and perhaps no other actress defines force of nature more than Magnani. With Walter Chiari, Gastone Renzelli, Tecla Scarano and the director Alessandro Blasetti playing himself.