Synopsis by Michael Betzold
This Italian film was released in 1995 and slowly made its way around the world; its English title is The Star Maker. Like the Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso by the same writer-director, Guiseppe Tornatore, it's drenched in the filmmaker's love for cinema. In Sicily in the early 1950s, Joe Morelli (Sergio Castellitto) is a con man who travels by truck from village to village posing as a film company representative. For a fee, he offers the rubes screen tests, using passages from a script of Gone with the Wind and encouraging their hopes with lines such as "Success awaits you!" Morelli's camera brings out people's hidden sides, including a soldier's war trauma, a woman's protests at being accused of prostitution, and a policeman who recites poetry. Begging for a chance at the stardom Morelli purportedly offers, Beata (Tiziana Lodato) asks Morelli to take her with him.
arrest, con-artist, mental-breakdown, police-officer, romance, screen-test, stories, village