2 user

Cielo sulla palude (1949)

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 »


Augusto Genina


Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay), Augusto Genina (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the harsh granite mountains of the center of the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea, an old people live at the town of Orgòsolo. Between the rocks and the oak woods, shepherds ... See full summary »

Director: Vittorio De Seta
Stars: Michele Cossu, Peppeddu Cuccu, Vittorina Pisano
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

St. Vincent de Paul struggles to bring about peace and harmony among the peasant and the nobles in the midst of the Black Death in Europe, carrying on his charitable work in the face of all obstacles.

Director: Maurice Cloche
Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Aimé Clariond, Jean Debucourt
Catene (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A husband kills his wife's ex-boyfriend. He flees to America, but is sent back to Italy to stand trial. The only way he can be set free is if his wife confesses to adultery - so the murder can be considered a crime of passion.

Director: Raffaello Matarazzo
Stars: Amedeo Nazzari, Yvonne Sanson, Aldo Nicodemi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The city of Pola is being evacuated after the peace conference of 1947 decided to assign the sovereignty to Tito's Jugoslavia. However the main character decides to stay, thinking that ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Bonnard
Stars: Luigi Tosi, Barbara Costanova, Gianni Rizzo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

One night when seeking his estranged wife, Hoffmann goes to the youth center where she works. The police are there rounding up radicals who frequent the center - Hoffmann runs into the ... See full summary »

Director: Reinhard Hauff
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Angela Winkler, Hans Christian Blech
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Prior to a city council election, the collapse of a building leaves a land developer and his political backers defending themselves against a scandal.

Director: Francesco Rosi
Stars: Rod Steiger, Salvo Randone, Guido Alberti
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Set during the Spanish civil war, the story of a commander of a fort Alcazar in Toledo, faithful to general Franco.

Director: Augusto Genina
Stars: Fosco Giachetti, Mireille Balin, María Denis
Umberto D. (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari


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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama







Release Date:

24 November 1949 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Céu Sobre o Pântano See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arx, Film Bassoli See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


Referenced in The Barbarian Invasions (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Little-known masterpiece of the Italian cinema
4 April 2004 | by ItalianGerrySee all my reviews

The title CIELO SULLA PALUDE translates roughly as "Sky Over the Marshland." Augusto Genina's film is a little-known masterpiece of the Italian cinema, made in that same era that gave us THE BICYCLE THIEF, LA TERRA TREMA, and PAISAN. It is sad that this movie was practically never released in the United States and is not available on video/DVD here. It did get some sporadic play in a dubbed version entitled "The Life of Maria Goretti" with some footage highlighting the canonization of Maria Goretti added for showings in some places. Video copies are readily available in Italy, where the movie was often shown to groups of school children to promote the concept of "purity." New York's Museum of Modern Art owns a subtitled 35mm print.

For those unfamiliar with Maria Goretti, she was a girl who rejected the sexual advances of a boy, Alessandro who shared a farm dwelling with her family after the death of her father, and, because of her refusal to satisfy the boy's desires...which she barely even understood, was stabbed by him and died soon afterwards. Maria was made a saint by the Catholic church in 1948. Although not shown in the film, Alessandro, subsequently repented and went into the religious life. The movie delineates how the young girl's religious fervor and joy in life, despite a harsh existence and the death of her father, never lost her spirit of love and forgiveness, even after the terrifying assault on her. It is a mistake to think of this movie as just another exercise in didactic Catholic pietism. It is much more than that, as is Rossellini's FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS. It is, indeed , a powerful portrayal of the hard lives of peasant farmers in a harsh an unforgiving environment, that of the paludal malaria-ridden marsh lands that existed to the south of Rome...and of the innocent transcendent spirit of true love of this marsh daughter, Maria.

The young Ines Orsini gives Maria that aura of innocence and joy that go far in making the film truly work. The film is exquisitely photographed in blacks and whites in beautifully composed images of stark contrast, and the look alone of this film is nothing short of mesmerizing. G.R. Aldo, the director of photography, was one of Italy's greatest cinematographers, and he had been responsible a year earlier for the stunning visuals of LA TERRA TREMA by Luchino Visconti. Viewers familiar with the earlier film will no doubt connect the photographic similarities reflecting the starkness of the two environments, i.e. the marshes of CIELO and the basalt rock formations in the ocean off Sicily's Aci Trezza in TERRA. This is a film, in short, to seek out and, once seen, to admire for many different reasons.

A bit of very interesting trivia: in the 2003 French-Canadian film THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, the dying main character reflects on a scene from CIELO SULLA PALUDE where Ines Orsini is wading in the ocean and her legs are uncovered. For the character in the Denys Arcand film, it was an arousing erotic moment. And it was so too for the unhealthily obsessive Alessandro in real life and in the Genina's memorable movie based on those events.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed