Fiamma Che Non Si Spegne

Vittorio Cottafavi

Sog.: Oreste Biancoli, Giuliano Conte, Franco Navarra Viggiani, dal racconto Italica Gens di Franco Navarra Viggiani; Scen.: Siro Angeli, Oreste Biancoli, Giorgio Capitani, Giuliano Conte, Vittorio Cottafavi (non accreditato), Fulvio Palmieri, Alberto Pozzetti; F.: Gabor Pogany; Mo.: Renzo Lucidi; Scgf.: Ottavio Scotti; Mu.: Alessandro Cicognini; Co.: Maria De Matteis; Int.: Gino Cervi (Luigi Manfredi), Maria Denis (Maria), Leonardo Cortese (Giuseppe Manfredi/suo figlio Luigi), Luigi Tosi (Giovanni), Carlo Campanini (lo zio americano), Danielle Benson, Daniela Benucci, Nando Bruno, Tino Buazzelli, Maurizio Di Nardo, Giovanni Lovatelli, Fulvia Mammi (Norina), Carlo Mariotti, Arnaldo Mochetti, Giampaolo Rosmino, Barbara Vassarotti, Gaio Visconti, Dina Romano, Gustavo Serena, Lorena Berg, Diego Muni, Siro Angeli (prete alla fucilazione), Vittorio Cottafavi (superiore di Luigi); Prod.: Franco Navarra Viggiani per O.R.S.A Film; Pri. pro.: 21 settembre 1949. 35mm. L.: 2897 m. D.: 95’.




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

Based on the last stages of a real event, this austere tribute to moral virtue and sense of sacrifice is rediscovered from generation to generation, but at the time it was so against the mainstream (we are talking about the very beginning of Neorealism) that it stirred up controversy at the 1949 Venice Film Festival. Fiamma che non si spegne is a fluid and compelling story, and its more powerful moments are streaked with a tragic lyricism. (…) The final execution is the most beautiful sequence of Cottafavi’s work; the director said he just let himself go and allowed himself to be guided by his admiration for Bach’s music while directing it. During the whole film the action scenes and private scenes have the same almost ceremonial intensity, the result of the filmmaker’s search for style. The liturgical quality of the film erases time, it erases History; it places every tragic action in a religious continuity that is a kind of eternity: indeed, the flame continues to burn. In this way, the execution of an anonymous soldier, in a war in which millions die, is represented with the same enormity and the same careful composition as the suicide of Antony and Cleopatra. By looking first to eternity Cottafavi’s films ignore Neorealism – magnificently.

Jacques Lourcelles, Dictionnaire du cinéma, Laffont, Paris 1992