by Roderick Conway Morris

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A story set in Sicily in the 1950s.

By Roderick Conway Morris
VENICE 13 October 1995


Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.Italy.

Tornatore won the best foreign film Oscar for his schmaltzy 'Cinema Paradiso' (1988). The glamour of old movie culture provides the director with his theme again, in a story set in Sicily in the 1950s. Joe Morelli is a conman who trundles around the island posing as a talent scout swindling poor folks out of their money by filming screen tests he claims he is sending off to a Rome studio. His adventures, which include scrapes with bandits and the Mafia, naturally end in tears, although some viewers, after being subjected to the film's nakedly manipulative prodding, may regard the anti-hero's comeuppance as woefully inadequate.

First published: International Herald Tribune

© Roderick Conway Morris 1975-2023