While awaiting Production Code seal approval in the USA this Italian-made production went through three American distributors in three years; first Motion Picture Sales Corporation that ...
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While awaiting Production Code seal approval in the USA this Italian-made production went through three American distributors in three years; first Motion Picture Sales Corporation that passed it off to Eagle Lion and finally to United Artists when they acquired Eagle Lion properties. Anna Magnani, a prostitute, is banished from Naples and returns to her home, a volcanic island off of southern Italy. There, she is accepted only by her younger sister and younger brother, and takes whatever job she can to get by. Rossano Brazzi, a diver by trade but a procurer for a prostitution ring---the white slave trade in those days---sets his cap for Anna's beautiful sister who has fallen in love with him. Anna sleeps with Brazzi to convince the sister he is bad news but the sister thinks otherwise. Later, on Brazzi's boat, Anna is pumping air to him while he is on an underwater dive and she resorts to the only course she has left to save her sister. She stops pumping. Feeling guilt and remorse ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Why isn't this movie better known? The principal actors and actresses are superbly believable; the intertwining of fact and fiction, place and personality, the era and its mōres are woven together as the finest cloth. It is one of those astonishing black and white films that feels like it is in color -- the dark and varied shades of emotions that run through the characters like fire and water, salt and hot seasoning. Plus it is deeply and deliciously melodramatic -- in the finest sense of this word: people drawn as figures who are good or bad & not without the possibility of rich, grey shading; sharp characterization deepened from two-dimensional cameo to three- dimensional sculpture; dialogue with strong emotional appeal and a plot driven by the determinism of forces larger than mere humanity. One major appeal of "Vulcano" is its Queequeg-like primitivism, the sense of "what must be" in a nature-driven world. It is classically Mediterranean. A wonderful film to learn from, too see and see again. Where can one find its likes now? In our world of special effects and neon-bright, digital-driven images we have lost sight of this natural depth. "Vulcano" sees how far down and into the human experience superb, naturalistic acting, story telling, directing, photography and cinema overall could once go with great grace and truth-telling pleasure.
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