Rakkauden Risti

Teuvo Tulio

T. Ing.: The Cross Of Love; Sog.: Dall’opera “Il Mastro Di Posta” Di Alexander Puskin (1830); Scen.: Nisse Hirn; F.: Pentti Lintonen, Uno Pihlstrom; Mo.: Teuvo Tulio; Scgf.: Kosti Aaltonen; Mu.: Tauno Tuomisto; Int.: Regina Linnanheimo (Riitta), Oscar Tengstrom (Majakka-Kalle), Ville Salminen (Mauri Holmberg), Rauli Tuomi (Henrik Hormi); Prod.: Teuvo Tulio Per Tuxan Film; Pri. Pro.: 8 Marzo 1946; 35mm. L.: 2777 M. D.: 102′. 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

When some knowledgeable foreign film specialists got the first glimpse of the films of Teuvo Tulio, the Finnish melodrama talent (50 years after the films were made!), they immediately compared them to Mexican melodramas, adding that Tulio went even further in his savage images. The Cross of Love is based on a Pushkin story that was adapted for film several times before, notably by Gustav Ucicky (Der Postmeister, 1940), six years before Tulio.
Everything is overheated from the beginning (the craziness of milieus starting from an atmospheric, phallic lighthouse), with erotic frenzy and the poetry of degradation as the main ingredients all the way, and the texture of life both high and low – with even the sense of smell and even excrement – made concrete with great visual talent. The high point of the story is the fake wedding constructed to calm down the crazily conservative and protective father (at the moment when the game is already lost). In the great melodrama tradition, construction is as profound as it is absurd. The fake wedding scene has all the rawness of an era still full of war memories, when every wedding ight all too soon proved a fake one, by birth, accident, or violent interruption. The manipulators – men as birds of prey – once again meet a trusting woman, whose innocence seems untarnished at the high, even if overlyacted, moment – only to be obscured again by crude machinations of greed and ownership. In Tulio’s infinitively repeated basic story, men worship women as angels but make whores out of them. The countryside is innocent, the city is evil, with souls and bodies tarnished alike, with deceit, swindle, alcoholism and sexual degradation in full swing. This film is the Bologna audience’s introduction to the face and presence of Tulio’s then regular star, Regina Linnanheimo, who left the conventional film industry in order to dedicate herself to Tulio’s creations, with every role becoming crazier from this point onwards.

Peter von Bagh

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