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Heaven Over the Marshes (1949)

Cielo sulla palude (original title)
The scene is the Pontine Marshes, a disease-ridden region. The year is 1902. Maria Goretti, a twelve-year-old girl, lives with her parents, poor farm hands, in the house of Serenelli, a ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rubi D'Alma ...
Michele Malaspina ...
Domenico Viglione Borghese ...
Il dottore (as D. Viglione Borghese)
Ines Orsini ...
Assunta Radico ...
Assunta Goretti - La madre di Maria
Giovanni Martella ...
Luigi Goretti - il padre di Maria
Mauro Matteucci ...
Alessandro Serenelli
Francesco Tomalillo ...
Giovanni Serenelli - il padre di Serenelli
María Luisa Landín ...
Lucia
Ida Paoloni ...
Teresa
Federico Meloni ...
Angelo
Jole Savoretti ...
Anna
Giovanni Sestili ...
Mariano
Vincenzo Solfiotti ...
Antonio
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Storyline

The scene is the Pontine Marshes, a disease-ridden region. The year is 1902. Maria Goretti, a twelve-year-old girl, lives with her parents, poor farm hands, in the house of Serenelli, a heavy drinker who has offered them board and lodging. The farmer has a son, Alessandro, aged eighteen, who is sexually attracted to the pious girl. Maria resists his advances. One day the young man can't help it anymore: he rapes Maria before murdering her. Before she dies, Maria forgives her assailant. After her death she is canonized as a saint. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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Release Date:

24 November 1949 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Céu Sobre o Pântano  »

Company Credits

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,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship certificate # 6572 delivered on 7-10-1949. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Barbarian Invasions (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE LIFE OF MARIA GORETTI (Augusto Genina, 1949) ***
11 April 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had never heard of this before its recent screening on late-night Italian TV but, checking up on HEAVEN OVER THE MARSHES (the original title's literal translation) on the 'Net, I realized that it was the recipient of a couple of Venice Film Festival prizes – thus worth viewing in my book. As had been the case with THE STORY OF JACOB AND Joseph (1974; TV) – a viewing of which preceded this one – the life story of the child Saint Maria Goretti, who was canonized for upholding her virginity at the cost of her own life, was a staple during religious doctrine classes while I was growing up. The basic plot involving simple country folk (typically played, for the most part, by non-professionals and, consequently, restricted pretty much to stereotypes) lent itself to the rigorous "Neo-Realism" style then fashionable in Italy. Even so, the film – obviously laden with melodramatic situations but, in keeping with the theme and the approach, also displaying great feeling for its pastoral setting – is uncommonly stretched to 109 minutes (so that the second half virtually presents a relentless succession of attempts upon the girl's virtue!). For the record, I recently acquired another little-known but similarly well-regarded effort from director Genina i.e. the WWII movie BENGASI (1942) which, needless to say, takes a pro-Fascist stance.


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