(aka "Amargo despertar" or "A Brief Vacation" or "Las Vacaciones" or "Una Breve vacanza")

Italy 19

From director Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D.) comes a story based on the premise “sickness is the vacation of the poor” (Apollinaire). A Brief Vacation, starring Florinda Bolkan (Visconti's The Damned) as Clara, is the story of a woman victimized by society, and by her husband’s family. As the only family member that can maintain a job, Clara must drag herself to and from a local factory where she one day collapses from lung damage. With orders from the factory doctor, Clara is sent to a sanatorium in the mountains where—so long as she is considered “ill”—she finds solace and companionship with new and interesting friends, and even the elusive possibility of romantic love.


Theatrical Release: September 7th, 1973 - Italy

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DVD Review: Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:45:44 
Video 1.70:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision / Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.70:1

DVD Release Date: December 16th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 23

Edition Details:

• Includes excerpts from De Sica’s 'Woman Times Seven', starring Shirley Maclaine, Peter Sellers, and Michael Caine


• Two page liner notes essay from Ronald Falzone


Strong DVD from HomeVision, but not in the Criterion stratosphere. The film itself though is worthy to be in that lofty grouping. Solid anamorphic image if a shade soft, especially in the darker scenes. Colors are bright. Subs are well done. I don't see the significance of the Extras - two clips from De Sica's 'Woman Times Seven' but it is watch-able. For the film and HomeVision bringing this to DVD, I give this  out of           

Gary W. Tooze

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Distribution Home Vision -  Region 1 - NTSC


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,