Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Gabriella Pallotta, Guerrino Campanini, Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Betsy Blair
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Genres: Art House & International, Drama, Kids & Family
Stark and Beautiful
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've given this a rating of 4 rather than 5 based on the DVD production, rather than on the film--which I'd rate a full 5. The image on disc needs cleaning up--spots and little jerks are sometimes distracting; and there are no helpful extras--a commentary at least would have been very helpful. But the subtitles are good and readable, and the movie itself is wonderful.The story is grim enough in outline--a rebuffed lover spirals down into despair, and he spirals down into a society with no safety net. But the black and white countryside, the roadside gas station, the villages, the shack where the prostitute lives, all these are hauntingly photographed. And each character is a surprise, so that the film feels populated by a whole world of very real people, not 'written' characters. There are a couple of moments in the story that can break your heart--such as when the main character sends his little daughter away--but the film is not at all depressing; you feel moved, but also elated at the brilliance of the filmmaking--and maybe a little awestruck if, like me, you grew up in the US midwest and never suspected that out in the big world, people were making truly adult films back in the 1950s, films that are as rich and satisfying as a good novel. The concluding sequence opens the story up and gives it almost epic scope, as the character returns to the village he left, to find himself in the midst of an anti-government riot--though by now, the rioters' issues are meaningless to him.I'm not enough of a film expert to compare this intelligently with Antonioni's later masterpiece, "L'Avventura" (which I've probably misspelled), except to say that if you love that film, you really must see this one; and, if you found that later film obscure and too slow-paced, give this one a try before deciding Antonioni isn't accessible. This one will really pull you in."
Il Grido (The Outcry)
Patricia A. Wilson | Rockaway Beach, MO | 02/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Il Grido is an unusual vehicle for Steve Cochran who appeared in gangster flics in the 50's - and was famous for affairs with Jayne Mansfield, Mae West, Mamie Van Doren and Joan Crawford. His private life seemed to mirror his screen personna but his acting prowess becomes evident near the end of his life in Il Grido. A strange account of a man's decline from the Italian working class to aimless drifting in an ever engulfing bleak landscape. His encounters with women depict the volatility of his well-meaning but purposeless character, Aldo, but his anguish only becomes evident when leaving his young daughter- sensing they will never meet again. As her train departs, Aldo's anguish becomes wrenching and is the beginning of his eventual dissolution. A thoughtful challenging movie for its poetic imagery and cinematic imagery."
J. A. Eyon | Seattle - USA | 11/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've usually avoid old Italian films but something in the blurb on the DVD cover intrigued me. Still, I kept my expectations low which may partially explain the high rating I gave this movie.
It took awhile to get used to watching Steve Cochran dubbed, but I was eased past it for the simple reason that he is just about perfect as an Italian man humiliated when his lover (and mother of his daughter) leaves him. He takes his daughter and hits the road -- on foot -- with no goal in mind. Certainly, it isn't to find a woman, altho he keeps running into lonely, yearning woman that he just can't seem to focus romantically on. One woman is played by American Betsy Blair (also dubbed). Another is played by a now unknown actress Lynn Shaw who was tantalizingly beautiful (internet research has inconclusively determined that she's British -- regardless -- whatever happened to her?!).
This is a black & white film by Michangelo Antonioni whose team gives the gritty visuals a lyrical beauty. And it includes some fine work by Italian actors -- especially the actress named, believe it or not, Dorian Gray. Altho Alida Valli's name is high in the cast, she has just a supporting part in the vital role of the woman who betrays him.
This is a fascinating look at another culture in another era -- but with drama that feels universal."
From Film Noir to Masterpiece
Christine Souter | millbrae, ca. United States | 07/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came to this film through the actor Steve Cochran, rather than Antonioni, though I knew of the great director's work. The combination of Antonioni and Cochran seemed a strange mix until I discovered that Cochran's own production Co was involoved. Tough guy, wonamizer, and film noir actor collaborating with the great Antononi , but they came together with a fantastic story, of a journey to nowhere filled with pathos, anger and finally desperation. Due to the Italian government's censorship, feeling the film too existentialistic, it was almost ignored there and had little play in the US. Cochran never received any credit for a great performance and the film, except for some critical acclaim was virtually forgotten. Now, with the release of this DVD, new audiences can finally appreciate the film, the director, and the actor.There is now a beautifully remastered version of this film by Masters of Cinema in the UK. The film is gorgeous, new subtitles, deleted scenes, and the Italian trailer. Although it's region 2, I was able to play it on 3 out of 4 region 1, dvds. I really hope with the release of this version, Steve Cochran will finally get some recognition in Hollywood for his outstanding work as Aldo. Alida Valli, Betsy Blair, Dorian Gray, and Lyn Shaw, as well as Cochran are gorgeous to see on screen in this magnificent film--truly a masterpiece. See it once, you'll never forget it--see this version and you'll watch it many times with great pleasure."