5 June 2004 | ItalianGerry
To forgive or not to forgive.
The great actor Raf Vallone stars in this melodrama about the brother of a murdered man who falls in love with and marries (not knowing the facts) Anna, the sister of the murderer. She is played with fervent sweetness and decency by Antonella Lualdi. The murderer Stefano had killed the guy, a guard at a Genoa port depot, when he and fellow gang members were pulling off a robbery. Stefano runs off to Venezuela. His sister Anna and his mamma don't know of his guilt.
At first the movie seems like it's going to be another "Il Cristo proibito" as Marco (Vallone) seeks revenge for his brother's killing. Then it turns into a domestic story of love and family life with the added complication of a whore/seductress in the person of the ultimately vicious Vera, played by Tamara Lees. Complications ensue when, after six years, Stefano returns, the law continues its pursuit of him, and gang members urge him to leave the country again. Stefano decides to inform the police and the men are rounded up. The spiteful Vera tells Marco the lie that his wife is unfaithful to him. Overwhelmed that her husband thinks she is an adulteress, Anna plans suicide by jumping off a cliff with her two little kids, but Marco, having learned the truth, rushes to save them in the nick of time.
There is something very excessive, banal, and third-rate about the entire story, although I found myself getting into it because of the performers, who manage to pull much of it off. Then too the backgrounds of Genoa, its port, and the environs of the city (reminiscent of René Clément's "The Walls of Malapaga") add a good deal of interest. The title of the film means "forgive me" and in watching it you might indeed have to forgive a lot. Then there are those who will choose not to forgive.