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"Tradita" takes place in 1915, at a time when Austria, Germany and Italy were supposed to be allied. In Austria however the Italian community was a house divided. Some of them refused to fight for Franz-Joseph and wanted to support France and England instead.
In this story, two Italian brothers are pitted against each other not only for the reasons expressed above but also because they love the same girl, Anna, the niece of an Austrian lieutenant.
This starting point can give rise either to a flamboyant tragedy in the style of Luchino Visconti (whose "Senso" was shot the same year) or to a shallow serial story complete with noble hero, faithful virgin, faithless spy ex-mistress, crippled envious brother, mater dolorosa figure, conventional attitudes and stale twist plots you can see coming years ahead.
Unfortunately, Mario Bonnard, a very untalented maker and poor actor director, is at the helm. And his target being the Italian popular audience of the 1950's, the second option has been privileged.
Nevertheless you can have fun watching this if you do not take things at face value.
The main source of merriment is the acting: all the performers are invariably and equally bad, the worst being Brigitte Bardot as the ... virginal ingénue! With one exception though, that of Giorgio Albertazzi, who manages to bring life and depth to the character of the "bad" brother. A real feat!
You will also have good laughs listening to such inspired dialogs as "Franco!", "Anna!", "Oh, Franco!", "Oh, Anna!" or watching ridiculous sequences like the loud voice conversation of nurse Anna and prisoner Franco in the middle of a hospital room full of Austrian soldiers, or else the execution scene in which Bardot and Pillotto (the priest) stop walking away from the firing squad, stopping each time the drums roll (five times actually), closing their eyes and pulling a long long face to show how dejected they are.
A very bad film but not the perfect bomb. Blame it on Giorgio Albertazzi for playing too well and also on Tonino Delli Colli for his beautiful black and white cinematography. Nobody's perfect!
Well, it is up to you now to decide whether you feel like seeing "Tradita". At least I will not have betrayed you!
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