09/01/2014  
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 16Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Sep 2Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Dinosaur Train: Buddy's Halloween Adventure on DVD Sep 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Aug 29 - Aug 31...
5 summer box office takeaways: Marvel rules, China rise...
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Se...
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2...
Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
The Earth Will Tremble (La Terra trema ) (1948)

"We weren't born just to lead a miserable life with no hope of anything better, but to be masters of our own lives!"
- 'Ntoni Valastro (uncredited)

Review By: Jon Danziger  
Published: August 18, 2002

Stars: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli
Other Stars: uncredited
Director: Luchino Visconti

Manufacturer: Ritek Global Media
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 02h:33m:15s
Release Date: August 20, 2002
UPC: 014381073829
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-C-C D

DVD Review

Reputation is a funny thing, especially when it comes to films. When Sight and Sound, the British film magazine, polled critics in 1962 as to what they considered the greatest films ever made, nestled in at number nine was La Terra trema. The results of this year's poll were recently released (the poll is conducted every ten years), and of the hundreds of directors and critics asked to weigh in, not one had this Visconti film on their top ten.

I don't know that this movie deserves the kind of veneration it received in 1962—from our 21st-century vantage point, its politics especially seem rather crude—and in retrospect it doesn't even seem like Visconti's best picture. (I'm partial both to the noirish Ossessione and his magisterial later effort, The Leopard.) But still, there's much about it to admire, especially in the heartfelt depths of its emotions.

The movie tells the story of the Valastro family, who for generations have lived in the Sicilian fishing village of Acitrezza. The men go to sea for the rough work of fishing for a living, and the women keep the home fires burning, in a familiar division of labor that runs from The Odyssey to The Perfect Storm. There's something decidedly Marxist about the politics of the movie, early on especially; much attention is given to the exploitation of the hard-working fishermen by the middlemen, taking advantage of the proletariat laborers for their own profits. The narration takes the side of the fishermen ("It takes a lot of fish for the pittance the wholesalers will give them"), and eventually violence erupts, in a nasty riot at the docks, pitting the fishermen against their exploiters. (It's a sequence that was obviously enormously influential on Elia Kazan, when making On the Waterfront.)

We follow the travails of many of the Valastros, in both love and work: 'Ntoni and his courtship of Nedda; 'Ntoni's brother, Cola, with his nose for trouble; and their sister, Mara, who has eyes for Nicola, a mason who thinks that he's not good enough to marry a Valastro.

Young 'Ntoni Valastro has a scheme: what if the family could bypass the middlemen? It's never been done this way, and the elders in the village and the other families warn him off, but he persists. 'Ntoni convinces the family to mortgage their house to pay for their own boat, for surely riches are soon to be theirs. Things do not go as planned, and we follow the hardships that ensue from the family's ambition for independence, for a better life. While throughout, Visconti's sympathy for the Valastros is evident, he overdoes it just a bit when, as one of the local businessmen take particular advantage of the family, a sign just over his head in the shot reads: "Mussolini."

In many ways this is the paradigmatic Italian neo-realist movie, for good and for ill. Getting the camera out of the studio and on location was an extraordinary move for the time, and the landscape and vistas from this hardscrabble world are wonderful, especially when contrasted with the glossy, Hollywood studio productions of the same era. The faces of the actors are marvelously expressive, and Visconti's work here anticipates Pasolini's in The Gospel According To St. Matthew, one of the most moving of all religious pictures.

The down side is that a certain amount of craft is sacrificed in the name of authenticity. The performers are disarmingly at ease in front of the camera, but they're not trained actors, and it shows, especially when the story asks a lot of them. Visconti selected the cast from among the locals, and we're not even given their names—the credits say, "Starring Sicilian Fishermen," and the only ones who get billing are the narrators (one of whom is the director).

The narrative doesn't always propel forward—the story is pretty much over with thirty minutes of the running time remaining—and the editing is similarly leisurely, as Visconti is content to show us people opening and closing doors, stopping for a bit of bread, or laughing and laughing at someone else's misfortune. But the camerawork and the images make so much of this film visually gripping that you probably won't mind. In many ways the vignettes that comprise the movie are stronger individually than cumulatively. Still, this is both a vital document in the history of Italian cinema, and one that demonstrates a compassion and empathy for its characters that should serve as an abject lesson for any directorial dilettante dabbling with a story about the working class.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Unfortunately this fine film comes to DVD with a shoddy video presentation. The print is full of scratches and debris, and it appears as if the transfer may have been done from two different prints—occasionally, lighting levels will change from frame to frame in the middle of a shot. Much of the Sicilian landscape retains its luster, but that's in spite of what's been done to the movie on DVD, not because of it.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoItalianno


Audio Transfer Review: The soundtrack is largely free of interference, but the dynamics are very strange. Sometimes the narration is so faint as to be inaudible, and occasionally music cuts out in the middle of a phrase, sounding more like an editing muff than a creative choice. Visconti favors master shots, and sometimes they're not well miked, so when he does cut in for a close-up, the volume level can change drastically.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Italian with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The English subtitles are quite legible and error-free, but occasionally they appear when there's no dialogue on the soundtrack. It's unclear to me if the original Italian narration has been edited out at these points, or if the English titles replace Italian ones, but it's rather jarring to be reading somebody's words when there's nobody talking, on screen or off.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Visconti's reputation seems to have fallen off some in recent years—perhaps he's been displaced from the top of the pyramid by his countryman Fellini—but his films retain a tremendous power and display their director's mastery of his craft. La Terra trema is a marvelous example of Italian neo-realism, one less familiar than, say, Rome: Open City or The Bicycle Thief, and is full of rewards for students of the movement.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

box office, movies, guardians of the galaxy, zoe saldano, rocket racoon, bradley cooper, chris pratt, vin diesel, biography, history, horror, drama, movie, rosewater, maziar bahari, jon stewart director, gael garcia bernal, celebrity, joan rivers, comedian, cardiac arrest, mount sinai hospital, 81 years old, television, full house, revival, john stamos, candace cameron bure, jody sweetin, andrea barber, bob saget, dave coulier, pierce brosnan, the november man, luke bracey, james bond, olga kurylenko, roger donaldson, kids, music, justin timberlake, iceland, 90 minutes, korinn auditorium, shake your body, take back the night, movies. richard attenborough, actor, director, brighton rock, gandhi, oh what a lovely war, jurassic park. in which we serve, comedy, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, teenage mutant ninja turtles, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact