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.
Irene Girard is an ambassador's wife and used to living in luxury. After the dramatic death of her son, she feels guilty of having neglected him and feels compelled to help people in need ... See full summary »
Irene Wagner, the wife of prominent scientist Albert Wagner, finds herself blackmailed about her affair by her lover's jealous ex-girlfriend. The plot, an experiment in causing fear, drives her into a rage.
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their ... See full summary »
A demon bestows on a self-righteous working photographer's camera the power to smite from the Earth "evil-doers". Naturally, the indignant photographer turns his new weapon on, one by one, ... See full summary »
Living in an Italian refugee camp in 1948, the beautiful Karen meets Antonio, a resident of the men's camp. While not in love with him, Karen marries him and they soon set of for his home village, Stromboli. The village is on a remote island at the foot of an active volcano. She despairs at what she finds when she arrives. The village is on barren land and virtually devoid of people as many have left, mostly for the United States. She doesn't speak the local dialect and is treated with disdain by some of the locals who see her as an exotic foreigner and a loose woman. After Antonio beats her and locks her in their house, she sets off across the mountains to seek her freedom and a better future.Written by
I must confess that I don't belong to those who consider this movie a big masterpiece. The main problem is Ingrid Bergman and her role. Somehow I found it hard to believe that a woman who seems to be reasonably urbane and worldly-wise, or at least streetwise, and who seems to have weathered difficult situations during a World War in comparative comfort would follow an illiterate peasant to a dead end island. She has many scenes on her own in which she I can't describe it differently throws tantrums and feels sorry for herself. It just becomes a boring routine after a while and a little ridiculous as well. There is no character development whatsoever. I liked Bergman much more in movies like Notorious or Gaslight were she probably received better direction.
However, the fantastic locations more than compensate for those flaws. The island of Stromboli is nothing more than an active volcano. The main characters live on the edge between the sea and the towering crater. All important movements in this movie are vertical. The messages from hell fall out of the sky in the form of burning rocks or lower themselves over the heads of people as poisonous gases. A contrary movement up from the bottom - is the awesome fishing expedition for me the most unforgettable event of the movie. Large teams of fishermen haul in a huge net, singing. Gradually the surface of the water over the net starts getting agitated until at last huge fish (tuna, I guess) start emerging in a wild frenzy and are hauled aboard. This is perfectly filmed an edited and simply horrific.
All the elements come together and leave little action space for the cornered humans. The movie proposes two solutions: emigration or religion. The priest of the island plays a pivotal role in the story as he represents the link between the two options. However his actions seemed to me pretty inconclusive, at first he expresses himself overly optimistic, in an almost derisory way, as to the functionality of the ill fitted marriage of the heroine, then he declares himself incapable of helping the heroine, throwing her back onto herself in matters of religious belief. Eventually he comes through as the chief guardian of the dead buried on the island that is a kind of gateway to the world beyond. This is all interesting stuff, but it is not handled with particular care or discipline, which is a pity.
15 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this