Desperate because abandoned by his lover (V. Alexandrescu), orchestra conductor hesitates: to kill himself, or kill her? He simply shoots the portrait of the lover and returns to conducting, helped in his “resurrection”, by a cute girl (L. Franca), who restores his will to live.
Second film by Blasetti, after the silent “Sun” (1929), and the only one for which he signs the script himself. Produced by Cines, it is the first Italian sound film but, deemed not commercial enough, was released after La canzone dell’amore (1930) by Righelli.
It is interesting at stylistic level, for the ambitious mixage of dialogs, music (Amedeo Escobar) and noises in parallel with experimental visual inventions. Continue reading
Originally released in 1942, Four Steps in the Clouds (Quattro Passi fra le Nuvole) was a major stepping stone in the starring career of Gino Cervi. The story begins as young unwed mother-to-be Maria (Adriana Benetti) desperately casts about for a means of avoiding disgrace. Making the acquaintance of good-natured Paolo Bianchi (Cervi), Maria persuades him to pose as her husband and meet her family.
Immediately ingratiating himself with Maria’s parents, Paolo plays his part so well that only a completely unforeseen disaster could spoil the charade. And when that disaster inevitably arrives, it is Paolo who comes to the rescue… Four Steps in the Clouds was superbly remade by Alfonso Arau in 1995 as A Walk in the Clouds, with Keanu Reeves in the Gino Cervi role Continue reading
Aldebaran is in some places erroneously reported as a “lost” film, but here it is! After
a couple of projects had either been postponed or fallen through for Blasetti, it was
suggested that he should make a film about the navy in peacetime. The result is this
strange film, which at the outset plays like a propaganda piece for the might of the Italian
navy, only to veer off into high melodrama, as it zeroes in on Commander Corrado Valeri
(Gino Cervi), and his conflict between duty and the jealousy of his wife. There are comedic
asides, a visit to a North African club, affording Blasetti to contribute the first scenes of
nudity in Italian film, and there are moments of heroics, including a mission to rescue the
doomed crew of a wrecked submarine. As if all of that was not more than enough, the film
features a star studded cast including Evi Maltagliati, Gianfranco Giachetti, Doris Duranti,
Elisa Cegani (in her debut), and even a brief cameo by Blasetti himself. Continue reading
An anticipation of Blasetti’s style. A great movie about the Siena Palio. Guido Celano (Zarre) is a very good actress and Leda Gloria too. The Tuscany environment is very well depicted. The performing style is influenced by the period, but it is quite good anyway. It is a very uncommon movie and the best representation of Palio, a religious and sporting event in Siena. Blasetti, then, after Il Palio and Terre Sole, start a wonderful career as director and will anticipates the “neorealism” with his 1942’s movie “Quattro passi fra le nuvole”. Very impressive the opening scene with Zarre riding a horse in the Siena countryside. Continue reading
After many years in the city, the Duke Marco, accompanied by his lover Daisy and by a cohort of frivolous and condescending friends, pays a visit to the country estate in which he grew up, and that he now owns after his father’s death. The Duke slowly comes to acknowledge how deeply connected he feels towards the ancestral land and its humble people, but he is torn between his duties as a landowner and the whims of Daisy, who pushes him to sell the estate to an unscrupulous businessman. To complicate matters, the Duke gets increasingly fond of Emilia, the young and outspoken daughter of the head farmer. Continue reading
Alessandro Blasetti directed this historical drama focusing on the Battle of Calatafimi. In May, 1860, the citizens of Sicily rebelled and defeated the troops sent by the King of Naples to put them down. Blasetti uses an amateur cast speaking in regional dialects, which gives his film an authenticity in sharp contrast to most of the pompous epics being churned out at the time.
The story concentrates on the rebels themselves, including a rebel’s wife and the young shepherd (Giuseppe Gulino) who travels to Genoa to enlist the aid of Garibaldi. The film’s style (and its focus on peasants) is almost a precursor to neo-realism, and presents a very human portrait of the forces behind battlefield spectacle. (Xploited Cinema) Continue reading
Late fascist chickflick or early lib melo – hard to tell. Early production title was Vagine di ferro. Continue reading