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Gianluca Di Gennaro,
Marianna Di Martino
Some sources include the names of Nico Pepe and Fanny Marchiò in the cast but neither appear in the credits nor the film. Their names were indeed initially linked with the film during the early stages of the production but both were forced to abandon the project because of previous commitments. See more »
Mario Soldati had two films released in 1942. First came "Tragica Notte" in March and then came "Malombra" in December. Both star Andrea Checchi as the male lead. Both feature meticulous photography and staging. Stunning, clear, excellently composed shots hypnotize us.
"Malombra" is a Gothic romance melodrama that takes place within a large villa on the immensely picturesque Lake Como. Isa Malandra comes to live there at the Count's home under the condition that she not leave until she marries. Relatives of the Count who would like to inherit his wealth are trying to foist one of their own on her as a husband, but she has ideas of her own. She is attracted to Checchi, an engineer, although her behavior toward him is haughty, imperious, defiant and insulting. She begins the film with a personality disorder and goes downhill from there. But then the resident Count also has some peculiarities.
Checchi leaves the place after awhile, to keep his pride and honor intact, and diverts himself with the daughter of his Hungarian friend who also frequents the villa. However, his attraction for Malandra remains powerful.
The Count's family has a past in which an earlier Count seems to have made a prisoner of his wife and brought about her death. Malandra gets caught up in the belief that she reincarnates the earlier woman and has been chosen to avenge her. This forms the basis for the ensuing tragedies.
The deep shadows of the house and the occasional storms that sweep the lake, stirring up waves, mirror the stormy passions of those who frequent this villa. Only the servants seem to be exempt from the family's carrying on.
I thought of Hitchcock's "Rebecca" while watching this film, but "Malombra" is less sentimental, more free in exploring madness and peculiarity, and stronger in its use of the settings of the house, Lake Como, and a nearby gorge.
The story is unusual and the settings are unusual. The picture has a high level of cinematic art.
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