Nel Gorgo Del Peccato

Vittorio Cottafavi

Sog.: Oreste Biancoli; Scen: Oreste Biancoli, Giuseppe Mangione; F.: Augusto Tiezzi; Mo.: Jolanda Benvenuti; Scgf: Ottavio Scotti; Op: Angelo Lotti; Mu.: Marcello Abbado, Gino Marinuzzi jr, canzone “Mamma” di C.A. Bixio, canzone “Piccolo cuore” di F. Meyer; Int.: Elisa Cegani (Margherita Valli), Fausto Tozzi (Alberto), Margot Hielscher (Germaine), Franco Fabrizi (Filippo), Guido Martufi (Gino), Giulio Calì (padrone di casa), Ugo Gragnani (terzo figlio di Margherita), Carlo Mariotti (commissario), Ugo Sasso (guardia di Finanza), Violetta Gragnani (cameriera); Prod.: Alberto Giacalone per Itala Film; Pri. pro.: 30 ottobre 1954. Digibeta L.: 2404 m. D.: 87’.

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

With melodrama I would create something internal, something true. With filmmaking I was trying to film the soul and secret emotions. I believe that the camera’s lens is more intelligent than those of us who use it, and it can see, it does see, inside the characters more easily than the normal eye. (…) These stories about women committing crimes or suicide with their relationships with men, with society at times offered humorous moments connected to the affection I had for the characters, a kind sense of humor. Melodrama has very strict rules. I don’t know if I respected them. First of all, I wanted to internalize a
story based on a model accepted by Italian audiences; not the story’s information, but the reactions of characters to the drama’s facts. The stories were a little bit stupid, and yet they contained certain mechanisms that were ensured by the results of other films of the same genre. I didn’t fight against these constrictions.The vicissitudes of the screenplays were banal, but it was human participation in suffering. I especially tried to do so with female characters: a woman’s soul interested me more, it is more sensitive, more capable of expressing in pain, and, in any case, more able to reach the total exasperation of pain.

Vittorio Cottafavi, Entretien avec Vittorio Cottafavi, “Positif”, n. 100-101, December 1968-January 1969

As Cottafavi himself said, “it is a story of love, death and drugs”. Perhaps the subject was not particularly interesting to him, and once again he decided to direct a film, like the previous one [Jailbirds, ed.], in which he had little opportunity to fully express his point of view or develop or investigate a story closer to his own sensibility; nevertheless, the woman’s condition, with its fatal implications that evolve into a tragedy, continued to be a subject around which a couple of ideas and a moral message could be developed.

Gianni Rondolino, Vittorio Cottafavi cinema e televisione, Cappelli Editore, Bologna 1980

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