Where The Hot Wind Blows; Law, The

1736. WHERE THE HOT WIND BLOWS! (1958-Italy, France). With GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA, MARCELLO MASTROIANNI, MELINA MERCOURI, YVES MONTAND. Written and directed by JULES DASSIN. Jules Dassin would seem an unlikely candidate for directing this moody, steamy melodrama Of decadence and sin that’s as Italian as a heaping plate Of pasta. He was born in Connecticut, acted in Yiddish-language plays in New York, wrote scripts for radio shows and directed a variety Of Hollywood movies through the 1940s. However, Dassin was blacklisted from the industry when named a Communist by fellow director Edward Dmytryk during the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee hearings. He fled to Europe, where he continued his career most successfully and without the restrictions imposed on American moviemakers by the Hollywood Production Code. Dassin sets his story in a small southern Italian town, where he chronicles the various liaisons Of its inhabitants from peasant to boss. Busty, lusty Gina Loliobrigida, then at the peak Of her fame, is the film’s centerpiece (pun intended!). She Offers a sizzling performance as a beautiful, amoral, young woman desperately trapped by poverty. Marcello Mastroianni is cast as an agricultural engineer who (symbolically, Of course) has come (o town to drain the local swamps, and in whom Loliobrigida sees her salvation. Yves Montand plays a cruel, sadistic thug, while Melina Mercouri (Dassin’s wife) is an unhappily married woman who has fallen hard for Montana’s son. “You look hot,” she tells him, and you know she’s not referring to his being overtired after a long, sweaty afternoon catching fish. Dubbed into English. 114 minutes. Drama