Synopsis by Mark Deming
Italian neo-realist pioneer Roberto Rossellini made his first (and, as it turned out, last) Hollywood-backed film with Stromboli. Karin (Ingrid Bergman) is a war refugee from Lithuania who has been placed in an internment camp. Desperate to get out and with few options, she accepts a proposal of marriage from Antonio (Mario Vitale), a fisherman who lives on the island of Stromboli. However, Karin soon finds that life on the island is only a minor improvement over the prison camp; she's an outsider there and doesn't fit in with the locals. Karin's discomfort turns to terror when the island's volcano threatens to erupt. Stromboli became infamous in its time when word got out that Bergman was having an affair with Rossellini; Bergman would eventually leave her husband and marry Rossellini, but the scandal all but killed this film at the box office. Rossellini's battles with producer Howard Hughes hardly helped: while Rossellini's cut of the film was eventually released on tape in the United States, on initial release Hughes had Alfred Werker cut it from 117 minutes to 81 minutes and add a new ending.
woman, internment, refugee, life-choices, marriage, fisherman, island, volcano