Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas

Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas

8 Episodes

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, film critics, international festivalgoers, and other studious viewers were swept up by the tide of Italian neorealism. Meanwhile, mainstream Italian audiences were indulging in a different kind of cinema experience: the sensational, extravagant melodramas of director Raffaello Matarazzo. These haywire hits about splintered love affairs and broken homes, all starring mustachioed matinee idol Amedeo Nazzari and icon of feminine purity Yvonne Sanson, luxuriate in delirious plot twists and overheated religious symbolism. The films presented here, chronicles of men and women on long and serpentine roads to redemption, are each less restrained and more wildly fun than the last.

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Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas
  • Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Introducing Raffaello Matarazzo

    Episode 2

  • Chains

    Episode 3

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1949 • Italy

    After years of making mostly 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, in which the saintly yet ...

  • Tormento

    Episode 4

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1950 • Italy

    Anna (Yvonne 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 (Amedeo Nazzari), an honest businessman yet to make his fortune. When he is accused of a murder he...

  • He Who Is Without Sin . . .

    Episode 5

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1952 • Italy

    In this melodrama by Raffaello Matarazzo, a young woman is mistakenly imprisoned for her sister's crime of abandoning her own child. When her husband finds out while working abroad, he decides to nullify their marriage.

  • Nobody’s Children

    Episode 6

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1952 • Italy

    Nobody's Children is the first half of an overflowing diptych of melodramas chronicling the labyrinthine misfortunes of a couple torn cruelly apart by fate (and meddling villains). When Guido (Amedeo Nazzari), a young count, falls for Luisa (Yvonne ...

  • Torna!

    Episode 7

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1954 • Italy

    Cousins James and Robert are in love with with the same woman, Susanna. When Robert and Susanna announce their engagement, James vows to ruin their happiness.

  • The White Angel

    Episode 8

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzo • 1955 • Italy

    In The White Angel,, Raffaello Matarazzo's sequel to his blockbuster Nobody's Children, the perpetually put-upon Guido and Luisa (Amedeo Nazzari and Yvonne Sanson) return for a new round of trials and tribulations. This time, the reversals of fortun...