• In the New York Times, Dave Kehr does a good job of introducing the films of Raffaello Matarazzo: “In 1949 the cognoscenti of the film world were focused on Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, and the other Italian directors who had been gathered together under the banner of neorealism. But for Italian audiences, 1949 was the year of Catene (Chains), a densely plotted melodrama, starring the Hollywood-handsome couple Amedeo Nazzari and Yvonne Sanson, that became postwar Italy’s first megahit.” Thus was Matarazzo’s career making outsized melodramas born. And though his films were phenomena in Italy, Kehr explains, “only now is Matarazzo receiving his due in English-speaking countries, with the release of four of the Sanson-Nazzari films—Chains, Tormento, Nobody’s Children, and The White Angel—on Criterion’s no-frills Eclipse label. It’s an eye-opening collection.” Kehr ends his review by exclaiming, “Here is a unique, thrilling talent. Please, Criterion—more Matarazzo!”

    Kehr is not the only critic thrilled by this discovery. DVD File’s Mike Restaino: “If All That Heaven Allows stirs your soul and Wuthering Heights blows your skirt up, Eclipse Series 27 will bring you hours upon hours of histrionic glee . . . Not only one of the best Eclipse sets in a long while, it’s sumptuous, exaggerated fun.” According to DVD Town’s Christopher Long, “The stories are so wild they can barely be contained in the frame . . . This Eclipse release helps fill in another void in our understanding of Italian cinema.” And DVD Beaver’s Gary Tooze is delightfully surprised: “I really enjoyed seeing these four films . . . I’ll bet this director’s work is an excitingly new experience for most viewers. This is what film is all about. I hope to see more of Raffaello Matarazzo’s work, and this Eclipse Series set is strongly recommended!”

Leave the first comment