Italian Cinema under Fascism

  • Roberto Rossellini – Un Pilota ritorna aka A Pilot Returns (1942)

    Roberto Rossellini1941-1950DramaItalian Cinema under FascismItalyWar
    Un Pilota ritorna (1942)
    Un Pilota ritorna (1942)

    A Fascist pilot, Lt. Gino Rossati (Massimo Girotti), is flying a bombing run from Italy to Greece in the early spring of 1941. He is shot down by British aircraft and becomes a prisoner of war, first of the British and later the Greeks. In one of the prison camps, he falls in love with Anna (Michela Belmonte), the teenage daughter of an Italian doctor. During a bombardment by the Italians, he is able to escape by stealing a British plane. He returns home, although wounded, and lands in time to hear the reports of Greece’s surrender.Read More »

  • Alessandro Blasetti – 4 passi fra le nuvole AKA Four Steps in the Clouds (1942)

    Alessandro Blasetti1941-1950ComedyDramaItalian Cinema under FascismItaly
    4 passi fra le nuvole (1942)
    4 passi fra le nuvole (1942)

    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…Read More »

  • Mario Bonnard – Campo de’ fiori AKA Peddler and the Lady (1943)

    Mario Bonnard1941-1950ComedyDramaItalian Cinema under FascismItaly
    Campo de' fiori (1943)
    Campo de’ fiori (1943)

    Peppino, a fishmonger on Campo de’ Fiori, a famous Roman marketplace, works alongside Elide, a greengrocer, who has a soft spot for him, despite the fact they argue all day long… But neither Peppino, nor his friend Aurelio, the barber, are interested in getting married. Until he meets the beautiful Elsa…Read More »

  • Giorgio Simonelli – Non mi muovo! aka I Do Not Move (1943)

    Giorgio Simonelli1941-1950ClassicsComedyItalian Cinema under FascismItaly

    Plot & Review:
    A former auctioneer, Carlo Mezzetti (Eduardo De Filippo), homeless with his daughter Annuccia (Vanna Vanni), clings to favorable situations and legal technicalities in order to find temporary housing and to illegally occupy vacant houses.
    The two are accompanied by the spouses Squeglia, Pasqualino (Peppino De Filippo), self-styled pharmacist, and his wife Olimpia (Titina De Filippo).
    Through a fraudulent trick, he manages to convince the owner of one of the vacant houses illegally occupied by him, to sign a contract, all for the benefit of Carlo and his companions in misfortune.
    The cheated owner, however, falls in love with Annuccia. Carlo accepts, thus, to give the hand of his daughter to the landlord, preventing further legal action by the latter.Read More »

  • Mario Camerini – Una storia d’amore aka A love story (1942)

    Mario Camerini1941-1950DramaItalian Cinema under FascismItaly

    John, workman and good guy, marries Anna, despite her dubious past. The past returns in the person of a scoundrel who blackmails her. She shoots. Sentenced to ten years. In prison she gives birth to a girl.
    Last movie starring A. Noris with M. Camerini, her husband from two years. A quiet melodrama that tilts toward intimism and deepening of the female character.
    At the origin there is the drama “Life Begins” by Mary Dougal Axelson, on which in Hollywood had already been based “Life Begins” (1932) with Loretta Young and “A Child Is Born” (1939) with Geraldine Fitzgerald, both produced by Warner.
    (Morandini)Read More »

  • Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia – Violette nei capelli (1942)

    Drama1941-1950Carlo Ludovico BragagliaComedyItalian Cinema under FascismItaly

    Lilia Silvi stars as Carina, an orphaned little seamstress, who is in the habit of sneaking out of her window at night, and go to the theater. Once back in her small chamber, she will act out all the parts of the play she has just witnessed.
    Her longing is to be on the stage, and then she meets Oliva and Mirella, two sisters who share her ambition to enter the world of dance and drama. The three girls become inseparable friends, and we follow them in their aspirations to make it to the stage.

    2 small roles for Steno (still an assistant director of C.L. Bragaglia) and Marino Girolami (Fugitive lady).Read More »

  • Giacomo Gentilomo – Cortocircuito AKA Short Circuit (1943)

    1941-1950ComedyGiacomo GentilomoItalian Cinema under FascismItaly


    (Some spoilers) This madcap “giallo” farce, directed by Giacomo Gentilomo, suggests an Italianized Howard Hawks film, complete with spitfire dialog and outrageous wacko characters. Two doctors have been mysteriously murdered. A famous mystery writer is suspected because his stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the facts of the murders. His wife is perhaps more astute than he is and is able to vindicate her husband by uncovering evidence leading to a demented woman in the clinic.

    This pleasant escapist pap was a fairly successful film when it came out in wartime Italy and was an antidote to the grim reality outside the theatre for 80 minutes or so.Read More »

  • Roberto Rossellini – L’uomo dalla croce aka Man with a Cross (1943)

    1941-1950ArthouseItalian Cinema under FascismItalyRoberto RosselliniWar

    An extremely rare film by Roberto Rossellini, his third feature, made under the Fascist control of Italy. Basically rejected after the War because of the Fascist content of the film, “Rossellini produces a work which focuses upon the Italian expeditionary forces on the Eastern Front and upon a Catholic chaplain representative of Italy’s religious majority…the principal character’s humanity and sacrifice seem to prefigure the good-natured priest of Rome, Open City who works with leftist Resistance leaders…Rossellini underlines the common humanity in Fascist and Bolshevik alike” (Peter Bonadella, Italian Cinema from Neo-Realism to Present).Read More »

  • Nunzio Malasomma & Mario Bonnard – Non ti conosco più AKA I Don’t Know You Anymore (1936)

    1931-1940ComedyItalian Cinema under FascismItalyMario BonnardNunzio Malasomma

    Non ti conosco più (I don’t know you anymore) is a 1936 film directed by Nunzio Malasomma based on a theatrical text by Aldo De Benedetti, who also worked on the script.
    Luisa is the shrewish wife of the attorney Paolo Malpieri who can’t stand the avarice of her husband who refuses to satisfy her whims: a new car, an electric water heater and new furniture.Read More »

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