Karen, a young woman from the Baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the volcano, is a tough one and Karen cannot get used to it.
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Karen, a young woman from the baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the vulcano, is a tough one and Karen can not get used to it. Written by
While Ingrid Bergman was in Europe shooting Under Capricorn for Alfred Hitchcock, she had a meeting with Italian director Robert Rosellini which would dramatically change her life and lead to one of the major film scandals of the 20th Century. She and Rosellini began an affair which resulted in her pregnancy which stars did not go public with back in those days. Especially if they were already married. It led to her Hollywood exile. But all that came after she agreed to leave Hollywood and star in Rosellini's new film Stromboli.
The financing of the film according to the Citadel Film series book the Films of Ingrid Bergman was from Howard Hughes. And RKO Studios released it here in the USA. According to Rosellini American censors butchered the film and he disowned the American product. It got mixed reviews over here, a lot of that due to Ingrid's indiscretions. It is fascinating how stars get bound to an image. No one who played saints and nuns on the screen could be involved in anything as sordid as an illicit affair resulting in a pregnancy. Our puritanical selves exiled here for years, she would not do another American production until her second Oscar film Anastasia.
Watching Stromboli today I have to say that the story did not make Ingrid a sympathetic figure in the film. She's a displaced refugee after World War II and marries an Italian soldier discharged who takes her to his home on a Mediterranean volcanic island named Stromboli. The people there make their living as fishermen and Bergman who has some education feels totally out of place. She can't make any friends there save for a lighthouse keeper Mario Sponza. That friend her husband Mario Vitale doesn't like and he beats her when he suspects an affair.
Even after Bergman discovers she's pregnant she still wants to leave Stromboli bad. In a scene that I can't believe got by the censors she's even trying to seduce the village priest who offers her pious platitudes and nothing more.
Looming over all is the volcano and these people who know any minute that the volcano could destroy them all, just live and accept where they are. Someone who wants to get out as bad as Bergman does, simply doesn't compute in their lives.
Best scenes of all with the realism that Rosellini made his stock and trade are the scenes fishing and the volcano activities. Fishing was truly a group activity as you'll see and the volcano is up close and personal.
I could never sympathize with Bergman's character so hence I could not really get into the story of Stromboli. Considering the alternatives that Bergman might have had, she was lucky to be there. There were in fact clear holes in the story, a product of bad editing.
Still without a strong leading man, Bergman made Stromboli a most personal vehicle for herself. But overall the film was not strong in and of itself.
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