Innocence in cross-examination

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German title Innocence in cross-examination
Original title Il rossetto
Country of production Italy , France
original language Italian
Publishing year 1960
length 93 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Damiano Damiani
script Damiano Damiani
Cesare Zavattini
production Gianni Solitro
music Giovanni Fusco
camera Pier Ludovico Pavoni
cut Fernando Cerchio

Innocence in Cross- Examination (original title: Il rossetto ) is an Italian-French crime film / drama by director Damiano Damiani from 1960 with Pierre Brice and Giorgia Moll in the leading roles.


The twelve-year-old Silvana raves about Gino Luciani, an elegantly dressed man from the neighborhood. She secretly watches him from her window, but he takes no notice of her. That changes when a woman is found murdered in his home, and Gino tells the police that he did not know her. Silvana, who had seen him in the murdered woman's apartment and had heard that a young errand boy had been arrested by the police, told him inexperienced about it when she met him in the general hustle and bustle on the street. He spontaneously invites her to go to the cinema, which she happily accepts.

Although the errand boy had meanwhile taken his own life in prison, Commissioner Fioresi does not believe in his guilt and continues to search. He gets on the track of Gino, who has a motive because he had in the meantime entered into a relationship with Lorella Severano, a daughter from a very good family, from whom he wanted to hide his relationship with the neighbor. But the inspector cannot prove the act to Gino. Meanwhile, he meets with the young Silvana in the cinema, but is unable to silence her. Only the girl's feelings for him prevent her from disclosing her knowledge to the police. But Commissioner Fioresi, who has since found out about her connection, puts her under considerable pressure during an interrogation in the police building, poses her as a whore and uses her lipstick to paint her face with it. In tears, the girl tells of Gino's visits to the murdered woman and the police arrest him.


The lexicon of international films judged: "Damiani's first film is a cleverly constructed crime drama, excellently performed, consistently thought out and staged."


Cross- Examined Innocence is Damiano Damiani's first film after writing a variety of screenplays in the 1950s. In his film, on the one hand, the influence of neorealism is still recognizable, thanks also to the collaboration on the script with Cesare Zavattini , on the other hand, innocence in cross-examination indicates his later politically motivated films. It is also a bitter (if by no means comical) parody of the English film "Tiger Bay" , in which a girl also watches a young man murder (or rather manslaughter) and clings to his heels. In contrast to the developing gentle friendship between the two (the Pole, played by Horst Buchholz, risks his life to save her from drowning, and so gets back into British territory), Damiani is dominated by selfishness and ethical depravity.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Innocence in cross-examination. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used