THE LAW Ned and Gina, sittin' in a tree....

RESTORED IN A DECENT if non-revelatory 35mm print, The Law is a slight but appealing relic of Italian feudalism, which apparently still thrived in rural Italy when this movie was shot in 1959—long after fascism had come and gone. But perhaps I'm over-thinking The Law, which was actually partly produced in France (all the dialogue is French) and was filmed by a blacklisted American director, Jules Dassin. More than anything, it's meant to be a piece of escapist tourism: Its original American title was Where the Hot Wind Blows, and it's cheerfully filled with thievery, adultery, slavery, and attempted rape. It's a comedy!

Gina Lollobrigida and her cleavage play Marietta, servant girl of the town's patriarch, Don Cesare (Pierre Brasseur). What their working relationship involves is left to the imagination; she's also got eyes on visiting agronomist Enrico (Marcello Mastroianni), while the town thug Brigante (Yves Montand) has eyes on her. Everyone in this poor Italian town has their hand in each other's pockets—in more ways than one. Mastroianni and Montand are hugely fun to watch, but perhaps the best thing about The Law is that it gives you the chance to gape at Lollobrigida for a couple hours.