Sog.: Aldo Fabrizi. Scen.: Aldo Fabrizi, Piero Ballerini, Fulvio Palmieri. F.: Piero Portalupi. M.: Rosalino Caterbetti. Scgf.: Abel López Chas. Mus.:Sacha [Alessandro] Derewitsky. Int.: Aldo Fabrizi (Giuseppe Borbone), Ave Ninchi (Adele Borbone), Nando Bruno (Gigi), Loredana (Maria Borbone), Giuseppe Rinaldi (ingegnere), Adolfo Celi (il ‘professore’), Eduardo Passarelli (Gennaro), Ivan Grondona. Prod.: Guaranteed Pictures Italia. 35mm. Bn.
Having always co-written his films to some degree, Aldo Fabrizi made his directorial debut with a work containing a signature feature of his cinema, the intermingling of comedy and poignancy. In this Emigrantes case, the scale weighs in favour of the second, and critics did not like it. Emigrantes is one of the few pictures of its time to discuss what was a collective drama for Italy: the last great wave of emigration to Latin America and the US immediately after World War II (in the five years after Italy’s liberation, 300,000 Italians left for Argentina alone). One scene even mentions another forgotten issue of the time: Istrian refugees. Fabrizi plays a construction worker who leaves with his family in search of a better life, with the hope of returning, and is faced with various kinds of human problems: a ‘good’ character who, as often happened in Italian-style comedies, would soon be tempted into unsavoury deeds. As usual, Fabrizi surrounded himself with skilled character actors and teamed up again with his perfect partner, Ave Ninchi, from Vivere in pace. The comedy of dialects, with characters from different regions of Italy, is the expedient for a sometimes explicitly educational viewpoint, embodied by Adolfo Celi’s character. The co-production received much support from the Peronist government, as demonstrated by the newsreel about the premiere in Buenos Aires attended by the first lady Evita, shown here together with the film.