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Author Topic: Italian tear-jerkers  (Read 3765 times)

Johan Melle

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Italian tear-jerkers
« on: 09 Dec 2007 - 20:25 »

Ok, I'm not even sure why but for whatever strange reason, I suddenly felt an urge to check out some of these Italian tear-jerkers from the 70s. Ruggero Deodato's LAST FEELINGS (1977) is the one I'm most eager to see. Not sure if it's really my type of film but from descriptions, it sounds like a pretty well-directed film about terminally ill guy with a talent for swimming who wants to compete in some sort of swimming competition before he gets too sick. I think it would be rather interesting to see Deodato tackle a serious drama.

In the UK, LAST FEELINGS apparently played on a double-bill with THE LAST SNOWS OF SPRING (1973), the film that seems to have started the whole trend of Italian tear-jerkers. It stars Bekim Fehmiu, Agostina Belli and little Renato Cestie as a terminally ill boy who is neglected by his father. Cestie went on to play dying boys in several more sad melodramas like THE LAST CIRCUS SHOW (1974), directed by Mario (THE SEXORCIST) Gariazzo (!) and featuring Lee J. Cobb and Marina Malfatti. Cestie was in something called THE TREE WITH PINK LEAVES (1974), which sounds like more of the same.

All of these films seem to enjoy a fair share of popularity actually - unlike many of the somewhat less serious films most of us enjoy seeing. Kind of odd really...

One of the most obscure of the tear-jerkers is one called THE LAST DADDY (1977), which I don't think has seen much release anywhere in the world. It's directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini of all people, and it stars Martine Brochard and Craig Hill. Looks as if Film Export hold the rights to it. Here's the trailer: http://web.filmexport.com/films/DettagliFilm.asp?CodiceFilm=061

Probably to sappy and serious for many but the fact that these melodramas are directed by the likes of Deodato, Gariazzo and Tarantini makes me want to check them out - even if only to see how these directors tackle more serious subject matters. Has anyone seen any of these films, or know of any other Italian tear-jerkers?

Jonny

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #1 on: 09 Dec 2007 - 20:38 »

I remember seeing TV adverts for 'The Last Snows of Spring' way back when I was a kid. Never seen the film but have always wondered what it was like.
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Johan Melle

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #2 on: 09 Dec 2007 - 21:20 »

Well, the taglines "Don't be ashamed to cry" and "the saddest story ever told" probably say it all!




Again the director, who was Raimondo Del Balzo, is probably better known for his more sleazier work such as the home invasion thriller MIDNIGHT BLUE (1979). Fascinating...

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #3 on: 09 Dec 2007 - 21:25 »

I'm a sucker for these kinda films, more than likely it'll be my wife telling me to stop being such a pussy for crying when the kid dies at the end of theses films...
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magnus

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #4 on: 09 Dec 2007 - 21:35 »

I´ve had the british pre-certs of LAST FEELINGS and LAST MOMENTS (the Gariazzo film) for years, but never so far got the strenght togheter to watch any of them, and these are two directors i really like... Had the chance to get LAST SNOWS OF SPRING at the same time, but thought there would have to be some sort of limit. They were actually brought up last week when some friends were over for film-watching, but once again we didn´t have what it took, and went for NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF instead. If noone else here have watch them and care to leave comments, i suppose i´ll be forced to do so...
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Johan Melle

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #5 on: 09 Dec 2007 - 22:04 »

I'm really interested in checking out the Deodato film - LAST FEELINGS. The Deodato book "Cannibal Holocaust & the savage cinema of Ruggero Deodato" gives it a pretty favorable review and describes it as some sort of hybrid between LAST SNOWS and ROCKY! It also seems as if it was cut by 4 seconds by the BBFC in order to get a PG rating for its 1986 video release. I wonder what it was they cut...

magnus

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #6 on: 10 Dec 2007 - 15:54 »

my guess is cannibalism! for the really dedicated the japanese tape is supposed to be uncut, what can be hidden in those 4 seconds of melodrama....?
So nobody who have seen any of these?? Guess i´ll have to do the dirty work this time then...
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #7 on: 11 Dec 2007 - 14:49 »

Not forgetting Luigi Cozzi's "THE LAST CONCERT"
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paperbag

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #8 on: 14 Dec 2007 - 03:54 »

Franco Micalizzi's score for The Last Snows of Spring (L'ultima Neve Di Primavera) is amazing
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Johan Melle

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #9 on: 23 Dec 2007 - 16:50 »

Found another one of these films. It's called THE LAST DAY OF CHRISTMAS (1977) and it stars Christopher George and Laura Trotter from NIGHTMARE CITY (1980). Couldn't really find any information on it anywhere on the net. The only thing I found was an IMDb user comment, which really cracked me up:


"Hideous boy-in-plastic-bubble-struggles-with-parent's-divorce 80s movie, 2 December 2006

Author: Dustweek from Japan


*** This comment may contain spoilers ***


Little Tommy is trapped in a plushly furnished bubble at a hospital. His parents - who have high-paying jobs in the children's TV industry - decide to hide their divorce from Tommy. Does Tommy find out? Daddy doesn't bother coming around to Tommy's hospital anymore, so Tommy submits a hideous song to Dad's puppet show. ("Six days to go, and them my daddy will come...."). Does Tommy's message make an impact on his daddy? Does Daddy communicate through his TV puppet to tell Tommy he loves him, in an uncomfortable finale at the hospital? Was parent-child communication really this bad in the Eighties? Cute Italian children, overdubbed with bizarre Cockney accents. The over-the-top roller disco soundtrack adds another layer of horribleness. Oh, and a big shaggy dog thrown in for added sentimentality. Not sure why this marked as a "horror" film, unless it refers to the overall quality. Maybe Tommy "goes Carrie" in the last 45 minutes, but I didn't stick around to find out. Note: the film carries the title "The Last Day of Christmas" when shown on Japanese cable TV. Apparently the cable company bought the rights solely on the appearance of the word "Christmas" in the title, without checking the contents for quality."

Haha! Sounds pretty awful but in a fun kind of way!  ;D

MarcMorris

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #10 on: 23 Dec 2007 - 20:44 »

These films were big hits for GTO Films and later Arcade video. We met up with Laurence Myers, who ran both GTO Films, Arcade Records and Arcade video. He made up the taglines for the films.
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magnus

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #11 on: 23 Dec 2007 - 20:58 »

LAST MOMENTS: "...sadder than the tears of a child" and "Abandoned by his mother... neglected by his father".
LAST FEELINGS: "Have someone with you to wipe away a tear" and "A story that will break your heart".
jeeesus. that man was a tagline-genius. still haven´t got around to watch my tapes, but when i feel in a weeping mood i know what to do...
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MarcMorris

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #12 on: 23 Dec 2007 - 21:03 »

He did warn me not to watch one of these with a girlfriend. Can't remember which one it was though.
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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #13 on: 27 Dec 2007 - 08:32 »

Mario Garriazo's weepie MY YOUNG MAN (Il Venditore di palloncini) is actually pretty good. Lee J. Cobb goes totally over the top as the loving drunkard father and my love for annoying italian child actors found a new face in Renato Cestiè (also in THE LAST SNOWS OF SPRING). Actually this is pretty hard stuff for a weepie, almost like weep-sploitation. Or as Cinehollywood puts it: "A drama of selfinshness and degredation in the loneliness of a big city where a broken marriage leads a man to alcoholism and a young boy to a deseprate struggle for life" (swedish translation on a yellow sticker, english text fully visable: "A little boy fights for love and life. A moving drama about courage and generosity that fits all ages", hehe). Gariazzo- no matter what that man directed the result was always good trash.

I also like the surprisingly good THE ANONYMOUS VENETIAN starring Florinda Bolkan, Luigi Cozzi's highly clichéd tearjerker THE LAST CONCERT ("When Stella died the light went out of my life...") and Bergonzelli's idiotic horse film KIKO, RUN LIKE THE WIND, which has a taking horse, weird camera effects and a scene you won't believe in which Richard Harrison breaks down and cries!
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Johan Melle

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Re: Italian tear-jerkers
« Reply #14 on: 30 Dec 2007 - 13:38 »

Bergonzelli's idiotic horse film KIKO, RUN LIKE THE WIND, which has a taking horse, weird camera effects and a scene you won't believe in which Richard Harrison breaks down and cries!

OH MY GOD! That sounds completely crazy! I'll have to watch this one for sure - even though I imagine I'll end up laughing rather than shed tears!  ;D
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