The Man In Blue

Edward Laemmle



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

An urban mélo between Musketeers of Pig Alley, The Italian and The Sopranos, with a touch of Scarface (Hawks), tells the story of Tony Sartori (played by the Sorrentine Cesare Gravina, Stroheim’s beloved actor), stepfather of the “ ower of Naples” Tita (the Texan Bellamy), in love with an Irish policeman (the British actor Rawlinson), chased by the mobster Vitti (the Californian de Ruiz), who in turn is challenged by the “valiant defender” of democracy Captain Valento (Harry Mann), and loved by the itinerant artist Carlo (the Australian de Beranger), who dreams of going back to Naples. The film shows the corruption and gratuitous violence of the Mafia as well as the fiery journalist who fights against it and the immigrant orphan girl, predestined by her status to social/sexual harassment, but already “America- nized”.
The problem here is not (only) the usual equation that Italian always means Ma a but the casting strategy. Even though we are in Little Italy, the only Italian actor is Gravina. Italians are also associated visually with monkeys: the organ grinder is accompanied by a monkey that imitates the picturesque gestures of Gravina, and the implicit parallelism is repeated when Vitti (infantile and gluttonous like Tony Soprano) eats a banana zealously. Italians = monkeys, like the anti-Italian – or better yet anti-immigrant – cartoons.

Giuliana Muscio


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