Combining Italian neo-realism and conventional melodrama, Luchino Visconti's stirring and expansive family epic is set in 1950s Milan, telling a tale of changing times, family ties, conflicting moral codes, human weaknesses, jealousy, rape, and murder with realistic trappings and operatic style. After the death of the family patriarch, widowed Rosaria Parondi moves from a farm to the city with her five sons in search of a better life. Although the family experiences many problems, Simone becomes a boxer, Rocco works for a dry cleaner, and Ciro attends night school. But Simone and Rocco clash over a woman, leading to murder. Youngest son Luca doesn't remember much about how things were before he came to Milan.