The director himself plays a boozy, autocratic engine driver who severs relations with his daughter over her love life and chases away his elder son, who's immersed in the usual teenage troubles. A suicide dies under his train, his drinking increases. He refuses to join a strike and is ostracised. Eight-year-old Sandrino, a chubby charmer, hovers on the periphery, half-understanding, but more concerned with not letting dad see his poor school reports. It all ends in a warm Dickensian bath of Christmas Eve reconciliation. The blend of sharp observation and slick sentimentality is characteristic of the neo-realist cycle, of which this is a late, quite entertaining example.