Terra Madre (1931)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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Though it was only his fourth film, Terra Madre demonstrated beyond question that director Allesandro Blassetti was in full control of his craft. Set several centuries back, the story concerns a feudal Duke who returns to his "terra madre" ("mother land," or homeland) to survey his property. The local peasantry welcome his arrival, little suspecting that the Duke has sold the land to another less-benign nobleman. The new owner forces the tenants off his land, whereupon they respond by setting fire to his palace. This prompts the Duke to come back, help extinguish the fire, and try to establish peace between the two warring factions. As long as he's back, the Duke also finds time to fall in love with a caretaker's daughter.

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Keywords

aristocracy, bad-guy, caretaker [custodian], daughter, fire, good-guy, homeland, homestead, love, peasant, romance