Volcano (1950 film)

Last updated
Volcano 1950 poster.jpg
Release poster
Directed by William Dieterle
Produced byWilliam Dieterle
Screenplay by Vitaliano Brancati
Mario Chiari
Victor Stoloff
Piero Tellini
Story byRenzo Avanzo
Starring Anna Magnani
Music by Enzo Masetti
Cinematography Arturo Gallea
Edited by Giancarlo Cappelli
Artisti Associati
Panaria Film
Distributed byArtisti Associati
Release date
2 February 1950
Running time
106 minutes
United States
LanguageItalian, then English

Volcano (Italian title Vulcano) is a 1950 Italian drama film directed by William Dieterle and starring Anna Magnani, Rossano Brazzi, and Geraldine Brooks. "Vulcano" was filmed on location on Salina Island, in the Aeolian Islands, and in the city of Messina on Sicily.


Vulcano has been seen by some as a vehicle of revenge by Anna Magnani against her estranged lover at the time, the Italian film director Roberto Rossellini who had chosen Ingrid Bergman to star in his film series about marriage - instead of her. Rossellini made his film Stromboli on the nearby volcanic island of Stromboli at the same time as Volcano was being made on Salina.

Both films were shot in similar locales in the Aeolian Islands only 40 kilometres apart; both actresses played independent-minded roles in a neorealist fashion; and both films were shot simultaneously. Life magazine wrote, "... in an atmosphere crackling with rivalry... Reporters were accredited, like war correspondents, to one or the other of the embattled camps.... Partisanship infected the Via Veneto (boulevard in Rome), where Magnaniacs and Bergmaniacs clashed frequently." However, Magnani still considered Rossellini the "greatest director she ever acted for". [1] [2]


The film plot involves a former prostitute, Maddalena Natoli (played by Magnani) who was exiled to the island of her birth by the police. There she suffers ostracism by the islanders, and she tries to defend the virtue of her younger sister from the advances of a deep-sea diver. Vulcano runs for about 106 minutes.  [3]


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  1. Kobler, John."Tempest on the Tiber" Life, 13 February 1950
  2. VULCANO(1950) Turner Classic Movies, Accessed Oct 2014
  3. Volcano The National Museum of Singapore, ShoutOut!: Film Restoration School Asia. Accessed Oct 2014