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Volcano (1950)

Vulcano (original title)
Approved | | Drama | 20 July 1953 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »


William Dieterle


Renzo Avanzo (story), Mario Chiari (adaptation) | 6 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Anna Magnani ... Maddalena Natoli
Rossano Brazzi ... Donato
Geraldine Brooks ... Maria, Maddalena's sister
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Giulio
Adriano Ambrogi Adriano Ambrogi ... Don Antonio
Lucia Belfadel Lucia Belfadel ... Carmela
Cesare Giuffrè Cesare Giuffrè ... Alvaro
Rosina Galli Rosina Galli ... A Worker
Enzo Staiola ... Nino
Francesco Cupane Francesco Cupane ... Merchant
Ignazio Consiglio Ignazio Consiglio ... Boat Captain


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Untamed! Unashamed! Raw and Violent!




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 July 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I vulkanens skugga See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first underwater filming techniques were developed for Vulcano's treasure-hunting scenes. See more »


Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »


'A nannulidda (Ciuri ciuri)
Performed by Anna Magnani
See more »

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User Reviews

Bergman versus Magnani:they tied.
15 April 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Roberto Rosselini left Magnani for Ingrid Bergman in the late forties:with his new partner,they made "Stromboli" -which was to be followed by greater things such as "Europa 51" .So "Vulcano" :it's no coincidence that this movie was made scarcely a breath after Rosselini's work.It was a duel of titanic actresses,hiding behind vulcanos.They were so talented actresses that they tied.

"Vulcano" is ,like many a Magnani movie like "mamma Romma" a one-woman show:she's probably the most gifted thespian Italy has ever known,and any part she played is worth watching.Besides,the director ,William Dieterle is very competent,being able to tackle classic lit "the hunchback of Notre -Dame,his masterpiece and the best adaptation of this Hugo warhorse,historical biography ("Juarez")and even western (the first scenes of "duel in the sun are reportedly his)- and here to merge into Italian neorealism!The screenplay is pure melodrama ,the story of a hooker who tries to redeem herself by keeping her younger sister out of the wrong track.Two strong scenes :the first when the holier-than-thou old women stop Maddalena (Mary Magdelene?) from coming into the church ,and she replies that God is everywhere;the second on the boat when Maddalena stops operating the pump and holds the bell into her hands.

That said "Stromboli" is much less melodramatic,and closer to neorealism.Both movies feature the expected eruption ,of course!

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