Amore was the two-part Roberto Rossellini film which introduced his notorious vignette "The Miracle." This brief character study, written by Federico Fellini, tells of an incredibly naive Italian peasant woman (Anna Magnani) who is seduced by a passing stranger whom she believes to be Jesus. Thus when she becomes pregnant, Magnani is convinced that she is carrying the New Messiah in her womb. In 1950, "The Miracle" was removed from Amore for international distribution and placed in a three-part anthology, The Ways of Love, which included two other short films, Renoir's A Day in the Country (1936) and Pagnol's Jofroi (1933). There was so much hue and cry from the Catholic Legion of Decency over the "blasphemous" Rossellini episode that everyone nearly forgot "The Miracle"'s companion piece in Amore: "The Human Voice," an exquisite Jean Cocteau playlet about a one-sided telephone conversation. Anna Magnani again stars in this beautifully acted tour de force.
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