Director: Mario Monicelli
Year Released: 1963
Employees at a textile factory in Turin, Italy want reduced hours (13 hour days instead of 14) and better working conditions after one of their own loses his hand in a machine - as they're fighting amongst themselves, in comes Prof. Sinigaglia (Marcello Mastroianni), a controversial figure on the run from the police, to help motivate and organize them, although their employer doesn't want to budge. It's a timeless film - done in the whole neo-realist style - about the importance of worker's rights and the respect for human dignity (fourteen hour days is slavery), and what's nice is that the Sinigaglia character, played expertly by Marcello, is a bit dodgy himself, and his ideas lead to two people getting killed (and himself imprisoned) and families going hungry. If it doesn't rile up the old socialist nerve I don't know what will, and that last shot is especially devastating in what it says about people unable to move up the social ladder.