"One of the greatest films to emerge from the Italian neorealist movement. It's a remarkable social document becoming an operatic neo-realist tale of downtrodden fishermen."
- TV Guide
"It's as if Sicily has existed in a bubble, unchanging for a century as sons take over the boats of their fathers and children apprentice at their feet, taking their place in "a hopeless slavery."
- Sean Axmaker, Parallex View
"Visconti used real Sicilian fishermen as non-actors expressing their circumstances and beliefs. The effect is a powerful portrait of graceful human dignity caught between the cruelty of the sea and opportunistic greed."
- Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion