Isabella's family is noble but half-ruined, so her intended marriage with a dignitary of the kingdom appears as a godsend for all its members. But Isabella finds herself accused of ...
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Based on an actual incident, this is the story of five girls (told in a slow beginning) who are among the 200 women who answer a want ad for a modest secretarial position one rainy morning ... See full summary »
Giuseppe De Santis
Carla Del Poggio,
Maria Grazia Francia
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Isabella's family is noble but half-ruined, so her intended marriage with a dignitary of the kingdom appears as a godsend for all its members. But Isabella finds herself accused of infanticide after killing the baby she was carrying in secret and it is as if the whole sky fell in on the family. That just cannot be. The young woman's parents and perfidious Isabella herself are prepared to do anything to avoid scandal. And they do: they lure Consuelo, Isabella's cousin, into a trap so that it is she who takes the blame for the baby's death. Condemned to ten years of forced labor in a penal colony, Consuelo is embarked, amid over a hundred female convicts, on a special ship. A long, painful and eventful voyage begins.Written by
"La Nave delle Donne Maledette" (the ship of the damned women) is one of the strangest films that I've ever seen. The only point of comparison that I can find are the wonderful Mexican melodramas of the 50s – films like "Aventurera" and "Victimas del Pecado".
"La nave delle donne maledette" mixes melodrama, WIP, exploitation, sea adventure, love, rage, violence, tears and death. Some scenes look like a wild party - the ship and its human cargo(female prisoners, sailors, captain and several different characters) could very well be a circus tent with clowns and acrobats.
The story takes place in 18th century. In a noble but nearly-ruined family, a girl (Isabella) gets rid of her new-born baby. This is made in secrecy, but the facts become known and the police want to arrest the woman responsible for the crime. The family is anxious to avoid a scandal that would soon be followed by financial ruin. So they manage to convince Consuelo, a poor relation, to take on her shoulders the responsibility for the baby's death. In the judgment she is condemned to 10 years of forced labor in a colony. The sentence is harsh and Consuelo is embarked with other "damned" women, in a ship destined for a distant colony. What now? Consuelo is innocent. She will probably never return – hard work, unhealthy sanitary conditions, poor nutrition, and in the end a shallow grave - there seems to be no hope for Consuelo. Her rich family (in spite of their promises) seems to have forgotten her. Something must happen, but what will happen? I won't tell. Anyway, the voyage is long and things could change in between.
This is a strange film, it's intense and over-the-top, in short, it's like a tornado, and it will leave you staring in disbelief. I would like to see this film in a restored, remastered copy. I don't understand why "La nave delle donne maledette" wasn't given the DVD treatment in Italy. It really deserves it!
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