One of the most surprising, intense and disconcerting melodramas of Italian cinema, a mix of Rossellini and Hitchcock
In the words of critic Enrico Ghezzi, it is “One of the purest and most basic films about sex, religion and femininity ever made. A miracle, filmed halfway between Rossellini and Hitchcock.” Maddalena was a big budget production to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Titanus. It was filmed in dazzling Technicolor in the Sannio region by veteran director Augusto Genina, with a mix of professional and local non-professional actors. It is one of the most surprising, intense and disconcerting melodramas of Italian cinema.
Maddalena is a prostitute. She is paid by a libertine to play a trick on the local parish priest. The woman is to play the Virgin Mary in the Easter Passion play. Maddalena is tormented by the tragic death of her son, who was burned alive during his baptism by the flames of candles. At first, people think she is a saint, but they soon turn on her and she is condemned to be stoned to death.