User Reviews (4)

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  • MartinTeller30 December 2011
    I'd already had my fill of Matarazzo, but I watched this one -- a sequel to NOBODY'S CHILDREN -- just out of obligation to finish what I started. But this one was a step up. It picks up where its predecessor left off, and piles on a whole new series of tragedies, including an almost hilariously cruel boating accident. Things get even weirder when Sanson appears as a doppelganger character, and Nazzari gets obsessed with her, VERTIGO-style (and takes the opportunity to impregnate her for the third time in as many movies). Where this film surpasses Matarazzo's previous works is in the more heightened cinematic stylization and a somewhat deeper exploration of character psychology. There are actually some really good scenes here. It's still pretty soapy, and there are a few dull spots, but overall this is a "high 7" as opposed to the "low 7" for the NOBODY'S CHILDREN and TORMENTO.
  • clanciai13 September 2020
    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.
  • Auntie_Inflammatory3 February 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    This odd little Italian melodrama packs everything but the kitchen sink into its 100 minutes!

    There's a nun, a count, an explosion, a dead child, family secrets and deception, divorce, deaths at sea, a doppelganger, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, fever-induced delusions, counterfeiters, women in prison, an out-of-wedlock child, a prison wedding (complete with nuns singing Avé Maria!), a prison break, a fire, a death-bed admission of love, a baby in peril...All accompanied by the swell of amazingly dramatic music!

    If you watch this film don't do what I did and not pay attention to the screen for the first 15 seconds after the opening credits when nobody's speaking. If you do, you'll miss the (voiceover-less) titles that give some exposition on one of the characters and be wondering (like I was) why the start of this film seems oddly like the start of part 2 of something. It is, in fact, a sequel to a 1951 film called "I Figli di Nessuno" or "Nobody's Children."

    I'd seen a couple of other '50s melodramas by director/writer Raffaello Matarazzo ("Tormento" and "Chi è Senza Peccato") a while back and they all seem to follow the same basic pattern. Every other tragedy that could possibly befall a human being is thrown at the protagonist who suffers, suffers, and suffers some more, until they are finally allowed a happy or semi-happy ending (often in the last 60 seconds). In this film the misery is shared by two characters.

    The aforementioned ultra-dramatic music is actually quite good. There's some nice cinematography here as well. The emotive abilities of the two principal actors rival those of some silent film stars.

    Così drammatico!
  • I noticed that the lead actors in both movies have the same name. Is that intentional or an error ? I enjoyed both movies by Matarazzo immensely and both send strong messages that show a solid moral sense of dignity. The feeling of Italy in the era and how people really were is truly captured. As in many Italian movies of the era, you get the feeling that the actors are truly the characters that they are portraying. The director, Matarazzo is truly amazing and I am shocked that he is not mentioned with the greats of the Italian new era. Both movies should be seen back to back to get the true flavor and meaning of Matarazzo's writing and meaning of his work. Having seen the lead characters in many other great movies of the time, it shows the true power of Italian movie-making that is missing in American movies.