Italian Cinema under Fascism

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

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)

Plot:
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)

Quote:
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)

Review

(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)

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)

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.
Quote:
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 »

Ákos Ráthonyi – La fortuna viene dal cielo (1942)

Engaged by an old lawyer, the young woman Anna receives in present of which it is quite soon relieved a jewel.
Feeling itself braccato, the pickpocket is forced to leave the precious one found by a hungry singer and recognised like gift of the provision.
The unfortunate event will take Anna away from the Prince of the Court, finding consolation between Andrew’s arms, which in the meantime it has entered into possession of the necklace… Read More »