The Marquise Eugenia di Maqueda, an orphan raised by the nuns, marries Raimondo Corrao, but on their wedding night she finds out that he is her brother. The piece of news is in a letter ... See full summary »
Childhood has always been a central issue in Comencini's work.He made an outstanding version of "Pinocchio",and in the cruel "lo scopone scientifico",a young girl knew better than her folks.Like "Pinocchio","Cuore "is adapted from an edifying book,written at the end of the nineteenth century by Edmondo de Amicis.This is a rather reactionary and passé work,with such ludicrous lines as "Well,Henri,our country is like an army:educated men are officers and working-men soldiers" moving,huh?
Comencini could not buy such claptrap.But he did love the old schoolmaster Perboni,and the novel featured entertaining little schoolmates stories,often melodramatic and mushy,tinged with nostalgia. So he kept the main characters,added some changes-the perfect little boy is ridiculed,the bad boy becomes a positive symbol of rebellion- ,but he extended the plot:instead of painting ,like Amicis ,school vignettes,he situated the story during WW1,when all the former pupils are soldiers,and the school tales are flashbacks.Comencini's genius points out so the huge gulf between what the brats learned at school,this molifying moral and the harsh truth they discover at war.But he shows gratefulness for Perboni,who ,in the last sequence,tells the hero:"I'm a socialist!I've always been!"
There are two versions of "Cuore":the two-hour version was shown in the movie theaters,and the six-hour one -the one to see -,on TV.
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