The fifth Nazzari-Sanson melodrama directed by Raffaello Matarazzo, and the first one in colour, was another huge box-office success
It was unpopular with critics but has stood the test of time with its mysterious force
It seems that something in this film by Raffaello Matarazzo scared some people off. Giuseppe Marotta, author of Oro di Napoli, which inspired and was adapted for the cinema by Vittorio De Sica, had this to say about Torna!: films like this “stupefy and muzzle simple-minded viewers, they hit them over the head, beat them, rip off their fingernails and burn the soles of their feet.” Maybe behind the apparent contempt, we can sense a certain sensual fascination? Starting with Catene, Torna! was the fifth film in the series of tortuous melodramas by Matarazzo (and screenwriter Aldo De Benedetti) starring Amedeo Nazzari and Yvonne Sanson (with Franco Fabrizi backing them up in the role of a sordid home wrecker). For the first time, audiences had the chance to see this world of stormy passions and brutal cruelty in colour. But the colour is only superficial, and can’t brighten the darkness of a story that holds the audience’s attention until the very end. Decades have passed, but Matarazzo’s films continue to resonate with a mysterious force.
Roberto and Giacomo are cousins who love the same woman, Susanna. She decides to marry Roberto. Giacomo, a man without scruples and a hardened gambler, brings disharmony to the family with his vicious lies. Before dying, he confesses his wrongdoings and gives the couple back the serenity they had lost.