Eclipse Series 27: Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas
Love and death dance an endless tango in Raffaello Matarazzo's emotionally lavish melodramas of the late 1940s and early 1950s, pulling the tenderized heartstrings of forlorn characters in every conceivable direction. Throughout Chains, Tormento, and the fascinating diptych made up of Nobody's Children and The White Angel, cruel acts of fate and nefariousness are the devil's double, darkly tragic jokes usually perpetrated by a combination of bad luck and evil outside influences. In turn, each outlandish dramatic confession (usually spoken by characters from their deathbeds) represents both the lethal sword and hefty shield for lost souls battling complete emotional destruction.

4 x DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 388 minutes | 16.9 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Italiano
Subtitles: English
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

Director: Raffaello Matarazzo
Cast: Amedeo Nazzari, Yvonne Sanson
Country: Italy

Four-DVD Box Set Includes:

After years of working mostly on comedies and literary adaptations, Raffaello Matarazzo turned to melodrama with this intense tale of a tight-knit working-class family shattered by temptation. There’s a touch of noir in Chains (Catene), in which the virtuous yet earthy Yvonne Sanson, as the devoted wife of a mechanic (Amedeo Nazzari), finds herself unwillingly drawn back toward a criminal ex-lover.

Anna (Sanson) flees her home, where she has been victimized for years by her spineless father’s mean-spirited second wife, to be with her lover (Nazzari), an honest businessman yet to make his fortune. When he is accused of a murder he didn’t commit, the couple’s domestic tranquillity is upended, and a desperate Anna must rely on her cruel stepmother for support for her child.

Nobody's Children
Bursting at the seams as it is with outlandish twists and turns, Nobody’s Children (I figli del nessuno) is only the first half of Matarazzo’s supersized diptych of melodramas, which chronicles the labyrinthine misfortunes of a couple torn cruelly apart by fate (and some meddling villains). When Guido (Nazzari), a young count, falls for Luisa (Sanson), the poor daughter of one of the miners who works at his family’s quarry, his mother and her nefarious henchman scheme epically to separate the two forever.

The White Angel
In The White Angel, Matarazzo's sequel to his blockbuster Nobody's Children, the perpetually put-upon Guido and Luisa (the Italian director's eternal star couple, Nazzari and Sanson) return for a new round of trials and tribulations. This time, the reversals of fortune are even more insanely ornate, a plot twist involving doppelgangers beats Vertigo to the punch by three years, and the whole thing climaxes with a jaw-dropping women-in-prison set piece.

Download Eclipse Series 27: Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas: Catene / Chains (1950), Tormento (1950), I figli di nessuno / Nobody's Children (1951), L'angelo bianco / The White Angel (1955) 4 x DVD5 Criterion Collection:





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