Sog.: dalla pièce omonima (1946) di Eduardo De Filippo. Scen.: Eduardo De Filippo, Piero Tellini. F.: Leonida Barboni. M.: Gisa Radicchi Levi. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Titina De Filippo (Filumena Marturano), Eduardo De Filippo (Domenico Soriano), Tamara Lees (Diana), Tina Pica (Rosalia), Gianni Musy Glori (Riccardo), Carlo Pennetti (Alfredo), Aldo Giuffrè (Luigi), Rosita Pisano (Lucia), Marina Campo Re (Giulia), Domenico Modugno (avvocato Nocella). Prod.: Luigi De Laurentiis per Arco Film. 35mm. D.: 98’. Bn
This film is an adaptation of one of Eduardo’s most celebrated plays, on which Vittorio De Sica also based his 1964 Marriage Italian Style, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. Filumena, an ex-prostitute and for decades Domenico Soriano’s lover, discovers that he intends to get married and so pretends to be on the verge of death in order to get him to marry her instead. Domenico, having discovered the trick and learned of the existence of Filumena’s three children (one of whom is his), can no longer find peace.
“Eduardo De Filippo has definitively won his battle as film director. And we must be sincerely grateful. Films such as Filumena Marturano – marred only by a few (minor) ruptures and some unevenness, but nonetheless displaying great vigour, great emotional commitment, great poetry – only rarely reach the screen. With this work, Eduardo De Filippo can truly be included in the short list of our greatest directors: Visconti, Rossellini, De Sica. We remembered the enthusiastic reception the Milanese audience gave the play’s opening night; we remembered the emotional applause, those honest tears, and we worried about the film, worried that it might dampen the echoes of that applause, worried that the play’s author might limit himself to exploiting his own play’s success. But Eduardo De Filippo has neither exploited nor imitated himself; instead he has created a new work, which is both rich and vital” (Oreste Del Buono, “Milano sera”, 29 November 1951).