29 July 2020 | museumofdave
Attention Lana: You've Got Competition!
Tormento can be purchased as part of a Criterion Eclipse Set entitled "Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas," and they do indeed runaway and sometimes get lost--but no matter: the camera always returns to the suffering heroine, Anna Ferrari (lushly played by Yvonne Sanson) who endures heartbreak and loss each time she turns around, and sometimes before she gets a chance to get her breath--just as she loses a job, she gets pregnant and her well-meaning hubby ends up for twenty in the slammer--for a crime we know he didn't commit. This is the sort of 50's weepy stuff churned out by the big studios in 30's and 40's Hollywood, often starring Lana Turner who always wore her grief very well and suffered spectacularly in Technicolor. Just as Lana often did, Anna loses the custody of her child, this time to a Stepmother From Hell, an unforgiving, dessicated old thing that probably eats baby turtles for breakfast. Will Carlo (perfectly played by Errol Flynn look-a-like Amedeo Nazzari) find a Get Out Of Jail Free card? Will the grandchild escape the nasty clutches of the Wicked Stepmother? Will Anna manage to convince the nuns she belongs outside in the sunshine? Your tolerance for this well-made but often risible melodrama depends a good deal on your enjoyment of the well-crafted weeper.