Rossano Brazzi Filmography

I due Foscari (1942)

"The Two Foscari"


Cast
Memo Benassi
Rossano Brazzi
Nino Crisman
Cesare Fantoni (see Una signora dell'ovest)
Carlo Ninchi
Egisto Olivieri
Eli Parvo (see Il re se diverte)
Erminio Spalla (see Il bravo)

Director/Co-Writers
Enrico Fulchignone (1913-1988), also co-writer
Michelangelo Antonioni
Mino Doletti (co-writer)

Director of Photography
Ubaldo Arata (see Il ponte di vetro)

Scenegiattura
Gaetano Campanile Mancini (1968-1942)

Background
Francesco Foscari was elected Doge of Venice in 1423, and his only son, Jacopo, was accused in 1445 of accepting gifts of money and jewels from a sworn Venetian enemy, the Duke of Milan. This was considered such a crime against the Republic of Venice that the judicial Council of 10 was convened (though for Jacopo's trial the ranks of this judicial body were increased to 20 ... consider this the Venetian "O.J. Simpson Trial" of 1445!) Jacopo was found guilty and banished to perpetual exile in Nauplia. "Perpetual" lasted about a year, much like American prison sentences today!, and Jacopo returned quietly to Venice that same year. He lived quietly until 1450, when one of his original accusers on the Council of 10, Ermolao Donato, was found brutally murdered. Although no evidence of his involvement was ever found or presented, Jacopo was again banished "in perpetuity", this time to Candia, to be almost immediately recalled and tried again, for "treasonous correspondences" against the Republic of Venice and found guilty of that also. In a heart-rendering scene recorded by historians, poets and bards, he bade a tearful and emotional farewell to his mother, father, wife and children and went into permanent exile for a third time. He was pardoned in 1457, but word of his pardon arrived too late - he died the day before it arrived. His father, the grief-stricken Doge, died 7 months later.

Francesco's wife (Jacopo's mother), Marina Nani, then refused to relinquish her husband's body to the State for burial, saying that the same State that had inflicted such injustices upon her family could not properly bury her husband, and that she would pay for the funeral herself, even if she had to sell herself to do so. The Council of 10 forced her to turn over the body and gave it the largest state burial in Venetian history.

This is a story full of love, passion, political intrigue, courtroom drama, murder, despair ... in short, a historical epic soap-opera that would make a great movie -- ergo, it was, and this is it! Of course, the story is probably better known for having also been made into the opera of the same name, by Giuseppe Verdi. Rossano, who would have been about 26 years old at the time, played the hot-headed, passionate Jacopo, who may have, in fact, been an unwitting victim of political factions operating against his father -- there have always been passionate debates among Italian historians about this episode. Well, then again, when haven't there been passionate debates among Italian historians?

Synopsis/Review

While this is the historical episode the movie covers, the plot has been greatly condensed, revised, shortened and rewritten, presumably for the sake of cinematic brevity. Rossano, as the young Jacopo, is never banished, but jailed; he manages to escape from his prison cell and clear his name, and, once vindicated, returns home to find that his father has died of grief and exhaustion. In other words, if you're a stickler for historic accuracy, this film will raise your blood pressure a good notch or so! On the other hand, if you can overlook the historical inaccuracies for the sake of Rossano, diving in desparation out of his prison window in his 15th century skiivies, swimming under Il ponte di sospiri ("The Bridge of Sighs"), and down the canal, to arrive at his mistress's home drenched and dripping and looking like he's wearing a 1942 version of spandex bicycle shorts -- you'll enjoy this one. Of course, the real Jacopo never did that, but the real Jacopo wasn't Rossano Brazzi, either.

Notes
Benassi also appeared in Il paese senza pace
Crisman also appeared in Il contrabbandieri di mare and Angela.
Ninchi also appeared in I dieci commandamenti, Il passatore, Il corriere del re, I contrabbandieri del mare and La prigionera della torre del fuoco.
Olivieri also appeared in Il paese senza pace.

Viewer's Contributions, Photos and Comments


To purchase the music score of Verdi's I DUE FOSCARI in book form from AMAZON.com, click here.

To search for Rossano's movies on the Movies Unlimited website, click
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