13 September 2020 | clanciai
The Vertigo syndrome
It's always risky to make a sequel to a great film or story, especially if the finished part has exhausted the subject and made a complete work of it, but Raffaele Matarazzo wrote most of his films himself and could not keep himself from continuing the story. In "Nobody's Children" everything was finished with nothing more to tell, the boy Bruno was dead and his mother a nun, while his father was left hopelessly alone with his wife and daughter, and here in "The White Angel" Matarazzo concludes their story. It is just another terrible tragedy. When Amedeo Nazzari thus is left alone for real with no chance to even ever see his first love again, who is lost in a monastery no one knows where, he meets this other woman, an actress, who is Luisa's opposite in character, a wanton dame for just anyone with even criminal business going on, but he can't help it. The thing is that she is like a copy of Luisa (and the same actress Yvonne Sanson) which constitutes all the attraction, but that's the case that makes this film interesting - four years before Hitchcock's "Vertigo", who might have seen this film and got some ideas from it. The new lady (called Lina) also describes an interesting development, as she changes character after having become pregnant and ended up in prison, where she meets the only wicked character in this film, a fellow convict who only can think of escaping and works hard on it.(Enrica Direll, a Gina Lollobrigida type of woman) who adds to her troubles. The prison scenes are very efficient. There is a spectacular drama building up, but there is less neo-realism here than in "Nobody's Children" and less human pathos. It's the Vertigo syndrome that chiefly makes this film interesting, while all the rest is a most typical "sequel" work to a great film that irresistibly inspired to a follow up.