Based on the novel of the same name by popular adventure/swashbuckler writer Emilio Salgari, a traditional favorite of young readers in Italy, CAPITAN TEMPESTA was a bit of wartime escapist fare for Italians, especially for young people who flocked to it.
The title character is actually Eleonora, the daughter of Bragadin, governor of Famagosta, now under attack by the Turks in a story that is more mythical than historical. . With both mettle and metal armor she is able with her followers to penetrate the enemy fortress of the Muslim Hussif. Venetian prisoners are taken, among them Marcello Corner, fiancé of Eleonora. Haradia, the niece of Hussif is a vampish Dietrich-esque seductress and torturer. She is played by the legendary diva of the Fascist era, Doris Duranti, and is the best thing in the movie. While in her clutches the prisoners, and especially Marcello himself, are worked over in episodes worthy of Dungeons and Dragons. Eventually Marcello is freed and her beloved Eleonora are married, but this is not the end of the story, which continues in the sequel, made the same year, IL LEONE DI DAMASCO. The sequel had all the same characters and would culminate in the saving of Famagosta.
Enthusiasm for the film among children was so strong that actress Carla Candiani, who plays Eleonora, a.k.a. Capitan Tempesta, was often besieged by them. To modern viewers the film itself seems like a concatenation of grade-B adventures, and the film rarely rises above the level of a strung-out serial, although it is certainly pleasant enough to watch.
Director Corrado D'Errico directed both this version and simultaneously a Spanish-language version with a slightly different cast (diva Doris Duranti was notably missing from that version) but after he became ill, the film was completed by Umberto Scarpelli. The film never had any mainstream showings in the U.S. although there are indications it may have been shown in Italian-language theatres in America, and the title is listed in past editions of "TV Feature Film Source Book" as being part of a package available for showings on U.S. television of movies for Italian-speaking audiences.
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