Robert M. Young, Michael Roemer

Scen., M.: Robert M. Young, Michael Roemer. F.: Robert M. Young. Prod.: NBC Television 16mm. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Michael Roemer and Robert Young co-directed their visually striking essayistic portrait of impoverished Southern Italy for an NBC documentary series whose producers were so shocked and troubled by the film’s  frank  depiction of hardship that they immediately cancelled the broadcast and fired Young, then on the channel’s payroll. By NBC orders, the film’s negative was destroyed but a print was saved by a dedicated NBC employee who believed in the film’s merits. Seen today Cortile Cascino – despite the English language voice-over imposed by NBC upon the film – is an extraordinary document that captures a pocket of Europe forgotten by postwar progress, where the difficult conditions of pre-WW2 stubbornly persist.

Haden Guest

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