Raffaello Matarazzo

Raffaello Matarazzo – La nave delle donne maledette AKA The Ship of Condemned Women (1953)

Caged of the sins of their past, they break for freedom climaxed by an orgy of wanton lust and revenge.
This interesting twist to “the ship of lost souls” theme has a ship of women convicts being taken to the colonies to be kept under control. One of these, Britt, has been framed in the killing of her child. Manni, the lawyer responsible for her conviction, sneaks on board after suffering remorse for his deeds. Also on board ship is Britt’s cousin, Weber, the real murderer who has gained her passage through a marriage to a rich businessman. She allows her husband to die in order to inherit his riches, and then takes up with the captain. When Britt and Manni publically denounce her, the prisoners mutiny, killing Weber and the captain. A storm rises up, and despite the… Read More »

Raffaello Matarazzo – La risaia (1956)

In this heartwarming drama, the life of an Italian rice farmer involved in an unhappy marriage is chronicled. One day, he notices a familiar looking migrant in his field. Upon following the girl, he discovers that she is his illegitimate daughter. To quietly make up for his past indiscretion, he begins giving the girl many gifts, but he does not tell her who he is. Later the girl falls for an auto mechanic who gets jealous of her secret father’s attention to her. This causes the father to tell the mechanic the truth; the fix it man then decides to engineer a reunion. He then goes on to save the girl from getting raped by her father’s deadbeat nephew.

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Raffaello Matarazzo – Treno popolare (1933)

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Plot: Lina, Giovanni and Carlo take the Roma-Orvieto train for a trip to the countryside.

Quote:
One of the beacon films of the European cinema of the Thirties. Celebrating the sound film as a rebirth of cinema, Treno popolare combines and harmonises, with genius, several characteristics of the cinema of the period. Talking pictures, of which it is too often said that they rendered cinema theatrical, also accentuated and stimulated realism. (…) This realism, born from sound and the possibility to make characters speak in their own langauage and with their true voices, here extends to a unanimist depiction of Italian society, and notably of the petite bourgeoisie of the time, portrayed with great veracity in its daily activity and behaviour. And the fact that the film is entirely staged in exteriors makes it possible to assign it its place – it precedes Renoir’s Toni by a year – as the first neo-realist work. Read More »