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The working title of this film was After the Storm . It was released in Italy as Stromboli, terra di Dio . According to HR news items, the film was initially titled Stromboli , but was changed to After the Storm during the early part of filming, and was then changed back to Stromboli . Italian producer Ferruccio Caramello, who was making a picture with director William Dieterle at the same time, also titled Stromboli , protested the switch, but eventually released his film as Vulcano . The English-language version of Stromboli includes an offscreen narrator, who introduces the characters and comments intermittently on the story's action. In the viewed print, the Italian production company is listed as both "Bero Films" and "Berit Films." The picture was copyrighted as a "Bero Film" production, but according to SAB , the official title of the company was Società per Azioni Berit. (Modern sources note that Berit Films was formed by Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman specifically for the production of this film.) Although most of the film's sparse dialogue is spoken in English, some scenes are played in Italian.
       According to a news item, Rossellini was originally scheduled to make the film with Samuel Goldwyn. Modern sources claim that Bergman approached Goldwyn personally about making a picture with Rossellini, who had earned international acclaim with his post-war film Roma, città aperta ( Open City ), but Goldwyn backed out of the deal after viewing another Rossellini picture, Germania anno zero ( Germany, Year Zero ). The entire picture was ... More Less

The working title of this film was After the Storm . It was released in Italy as Stromboli, terra di Dio . According to HR news items, the film was initially titled Stromboli , but was changed to After the Storm during the early part of filming, and was then changed back to Stromboli . Italian producer Ferruccio Caramello, who was making a picture with director William Dieterle at the same time, also titled Stromboli , protested the switch, but eventually released his film as Vulcano . The English-language version of Stromboli includes an offscreen narrator, who introduces the characters and comments intermittently on the story's action. In the viewed print, the Italian production company is listed as both "Bero Films" and "Berit Films." The picture was copyrighted as a "Bero Film" production, but according to SAB , the official title of the company was Società per Azioni Berit. (Modern sources note that Berit Films was formed by Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman specifically for the production of this film.) Although most of the film's sparse dialogue is spoken in English, some scenes are played in Italian.
       According to a news item, Rossellini was originally scheduled to make the film with Samuel Goldwyn. Modern sources claim that Bergman approached Goldwyn personally about making a picture with Rossellini, who had earned international acclaim with his post-war film Roma, città aperta ( Open City ), but Goldwyn backed out of the deal after viewing another Rossellini picture, Germania anno zero ( Germany, Year Zero ). The entire picture was shot in Italy, including Stromboli, Messina, Rome and at a concentration camp in Farfa, near Rome, according to news items. Modern sources note that because of the extreme temperatures on the island, filming was very difficult. Rossellini was forced to shoot scenes over many times, and Bergman had to do her own makeup and worked without a double, even during the volcano climbing scenes. The volcano erupted during filming, and a director's assistant suffered a fatal heart attack after he was overcome by the its fumes, according to modern sources. Modern sources add that Rossellini cast fisherman he had met on the way to the island in the roles of "Antonio" and the lighthouse keeper.
       News items reported that, according to the terms of Rossellini's contract with RKO, the director was required to turn over all of his unedited footage to the studio. Modern sources claim that RKO, which put up most of the film's budget, initially agreed to allow Rossellini to edit an Italian version of the film in exchange for surrendering the film to the studio and putting Berit's stock, which Rossellini and Bergman controlled, in escrow. Rossellini's Italian version would then serve as a guide for the American version. However, when Rossellini withheld the Berit stock, modern sources note, an RKO executive hid the shot footage in Italy, and it was eventually shipped to Hollywood, where it was edited without the director's input. According to HR , Rossellini protested the studio's editing of the film, claiming that RKO's version was radically different from his original vision. Ned Depinet, the president of RKO, defended the studio's version in the press, saying that "no major changes in the picture" were made and insisting that if RKO had not "put the picture together it would not have been understood" in the U.S.
       Modern sources note that the significant difference between the 81 minute American version and the 105 minute Italian version was in the ending. In a telegram included in the MPAA files at the AMPAS Library, Father Félix Morlion beseeched PCA director Joseph I. Breen to compare the film's original script with RKO's cut version, as he was concerned that the "religious theme" he wrote into the screenplay had been lost. Morlion, who did not receive an onscreen credit, added that Stromboli marked the first time that a Roman Catholic priest had been given permission to write a screenplay, and worried that his "superiors" would see the RKO version. In the Italian version, according to modern sources, the religious theme is more strongly emphasized. According to DV , the running time of the preview print was 87 minutes, suggesting that approximately six minutes was cut for the general release.
       During the film's production, Bergman and Rossellini, both of whom were married at the time, began an affair, news of which was broken in the press by Louella Parsons and later was reported worldwide. According to Bergman's autobiography, filming shut down for three days so that her then-husband, Dr. Petter Lindstrom, could meet with her and beg for a reconciliation. HR reported that RKO owner Howard Hughes denied that he had sanctioned the shut-down. Although Bergman soon became pregnant and eventually divorced her husband and married Rossellini, the resulting scandal not only affected the release of this film, but led to Bergman's long-term ostracism from Hollywood. She did not again appear in an American production until the 1956 film Anastasia , after her divorce from Rossellini.
       The Var review noted that "probably no film in history has received as much publicity as Stromboli ." In its review of a 26 Jan 1950 preview screening, DV commented that, because the "making of the picture was attendant with an international scandal," it was suspending its usual practice of reviewing only the final release print. According to DV , after a Long Beach preview, news services flashed "the opinions of unnamed executives and exhibitors as to the merits of the film." RKO expressed concern that audiences would be inappropriately amused or distracted by scenes in which "Karin" discusses her pregnancy, and suggested they be cut. Rossellini protested the proposal, claiming that the pregnancy was crucial to the story's ending, as it supplies the reason why "Karin" chooses to return to the island, "redemption through motherhood."
       Because of the scandal, Stromboli was banned in several cities. Contemporary items report the following about the film's distribution: The chief of censorship in Memphis, who banned Stromboli and all future Bergman films, described the actress as a "disgrace not only to her profession but to all American women." In Feb 1950, U.S. Congressman Ed Gossett of Texas condemned a screening of the picture in Washington, D.C., noting that "support for such a film is a dangerous indication of the slackening of the moral code." Other Congressmen attacked the film, and in Oct 1950, Rossellini filed a libel action against Senator Edwin C. Johnson for calling him a "scoundrel" in the Italian press.
       Despite the publicity surrounding the bans, the total number of theaters that actually refused to screen the picture was relatively low. In response to threatened bans, RKO announced that it would pursue legal action against any theater that refused to show the film, stating that bans could not be issued based solely on the personal lives of the actors. RKO's position was strengthened by the fact that Bergman and Rossellini's newborn son was baptized in Rome, and the powerful Catholic Church refused to condemn the picture. In addition, the National Council on Freedom of Censorship, an affiliate of the ACLU, undertook action to prevent the boycotts. According to the MPAA files, Breen was concerned about the film's advertising, especially print ads that included the words "This is it!" an obvious allusion to the scandal. Breen conceded, however, that he was powerless to stop the ads.
       In Nov 1950, RKO sued Bergman and Rossellini in an attempt to gain sole ownership of the film's foreign rights, which had been challenged by Rossellini. Rossellini then instigated legal proceedings in Italy and France to prevent Stromboli from being shown there. The dispositions of these lawsuits is not known. Var reported in Oct 1950 that, for unknown reasons, the film was doing much better business in drive-ins than in regular theaters. The exact date of the Italian opening of the picture has not been determined; modern sources list the release year as both 1949 or 1950. Modern sources list Roberto Gerardi and Ajace Parolin as cameramen along with Luciano Trasatti, and Jolanda Benvenuti as editor of the Italian version of the picture. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Feb 1950.
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Daily Variety
13 Jan 1950.
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Daily Variety
7 Feb 1950.
---
Daily Variety
15 Feb 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Feb 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 50
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Feb 50
p. 206.
New York Times
15 Jan 1950.
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New York Times
16 Feb 50
p. 28.
Variety
8 Feb 1950.
---
Variety
15 Feb 50
p. 13.
Variety
18 Oct 1950.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
After the Storm
Release Date:
18 February 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 February 1950
Production Date:
mid April--21 August 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Bero Films
Copyright Date:
15 February 1950
Copyright Number:
LP2880
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in feet):
7,282
Countries:
Italy, United States
PCA No:
14334
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the outskirts of Rome, penniless, Czech-born Karin Bjiorsen is romanced in a displaced persons camp for women by Antonio, a recently released prisoner-of-war. Although Karin speaks little Italian, and Antonio speaks little English, Karin accepts his marriage proposal after her request for an Argentine visa is denied. Following the wedding ceremony, Karin accompanies Antonio to his home on the volcanic island of Stromboli, which Antonio has described to her in loving terms. Karin is shocked to discover that Stromboli is not only physically bleak, but almost deserted as well, as most of its people have long since abandoned the island. When Antonio proudly shows Karin his empty, rundown house, which stands in the shadow of the island's active volcano, Karin explodes with anger. Although Karin demands that they leave Stromboli, Antonio insists on staying, stating that, as his wife, she must obey him. The next day, after Antonio reveals that he is nearly broke, Karin again rails against her husband. Crying with frustration, the sophisticated Karin denounces Antonio as too poor and simple to make her happy. Later, Karin is visited by the village priest, who sympathizes with her, but encourages her to be patient and "make the best of things." Antonio, who once owned his own boat but must now fish as part of a crew, then returns home with a large catch. While Antonio goes to Messina to sell his fish, Karin decides to take the priest's advice and fix up the house. Karin is aided in her efforts by an old man, but is shunned by the women of the village because she is different. Just before ... +


On the outskirts of Rome, penniless, Czech-born Karin Bjiorsen is romanced in a displaced persons camp for women by Antonio, a recently released prisoner-of-war. Although Karin speaks little Italian, and Antonio speaks little English, Karin accepts his marriage proposal after her request for an Argentine visa is denied. Following the wedding ceremony, Karin accompanies Antonio to his home on the volcanic island of Stromboli, which Antonio has described to her in loving terms. Karin is shocked to discover that Stromboli is not only physically bleak, but almost deserted as well, as most of its people have long since abandoned the island. When Antonio proudly shows Karin his empty, rundown house, which stands in the shadow of the island's active volcano, Karin explodes with anger. Although Karin demands that they leave Stromboli, Antonio insists on staying, stating that, as his wife, she must obey him. The next day, after Antonio reveals that he is nearly broke, Karin again rails against her husband. Crying with frustration, the sophisticated Karin denounces Antonio as too poor and simple to make her happy. Later, Karin is visited by the village priest, who sympathizes with her, but encourages her to be patient and "make the best of things." Antonio, who once owned his own boat but must now fish as part of a crew, then returns home with a large catch. While Antonio goes to Messina to sell his fish, Karin decides to take the priest's advice and fix up the house. Karin is aided in her efforts by an old man, but is shunned by the women of the village because she is different. Just before Antonio is to return from Messina, Karin tells the old man that she wants the village seamstress to make her a new dress. Indifferent to the old man's warnings about the seamstress' reputation, Karin goes to her home that night. There she sees the local lighthouse keeper, a former prisoner of war who suffers from malaria, resting in the seamstress' bed. When some of the men from the village begin singing under the seamstress' window, Karin smiles approvingly at them. Antonio then walks by and, upon seeing his wife, becomes furious with jealousy. After dragging Karin back to their home, Antonio reveals that, because of her, he received a smaller share of the fishing money. Antonio also shows little enthusiasm for the changes Karin has made in the house and is hurt to discover that she has removed his family portraits. The next day, Karin visits the priest and begs him to help her and Antonio leave the island. Although at first willing to consider her request, the priest becomes indignant when Karin, a confessed "sinner," makes a pass at him. Later, Karin is seen in an innocent embrace with the lighthouse keeper and becomes the target of local gossip. Taunted by the villagers, who call him a cuckold, Antonio storms home and beats Karin. He then drags her to Mass, where she is stared at by the entire congregation. Sometime later, Karin decides to watch Antonio participate in the annual tuna hunt, but is disgusted by the massive slaughter. After Karin reveals to Antonio that she is pregnant, the volcano erupts, forcing the villagers to spend the night at sea in their fishing boats. Distraught, Karin announces to Antonio that she is leaving Stromboli, as she does not want to rear a child there. Although Antonio nails the door to his wife's bedroom shut, the lighthouse keeper happens by the house and releases her. Karin convinces the lighthouse keeper to help her flee Stromboli, but then decides to walk by herself to the other side of the island, where she hopes to catch a motor boat. As she is passing the steamy volcano top, Karin is overcome with heat and exhaustion and collapses in tears on the ground. When she awakens the next morning, she stares at the now-peaceful volcano and, seeing God in its beauty, rushes back to start a new life with Antonio. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.