Delitto d’amore


Delitto d’amore

[Crime of Love]

[aka: Somewhere Beyond Love]

Written by Luigi Comencini & Ugo Pirro

From a story by Ugo Pirro

Cinematography: Luigi Kuveiller

Editor: Nino Baragli

Music: Carl Rustichelli

Produced by: Gianni Hecht Lucari

Directed by Luigi Comencini




Giuliano Gemma

Stafania Sandrelli

Brizio Montinaro

Renato Scarpo

Cesira Abbiati

Rina Franchetti

Emilio Bonucci



Theatrical: Documento Film & Gianni Hecht Lucari

Video: Raro Video USA



Aspect Ratio: 1.73:1

Codec: MPEG-2

Bit Rate: Moderate-High (7.5~8 Mbps)

Runtime: 101 minutes

Chapters: 16

Region: 0 / NTSC



Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono



Optional English


Interview with Adriano Apra (12:05)

Theatrical Trailer
20-page booklet with essays and photos



DVD clamshell case: DVD x 1

Release Date: November 8, 2011



Raro Video continues its foray into Italian cinema less well known in America with a lovely transfer of one of Luigi Comencini’s later films: Delitto d’amore, which translates to “Crime of Love” but for some reason passing understanding goes by the international title “Somewhere Beyond Love” - a pulpy title if ever there was one.  Comencini is well known in Italy, having a broad range of credits dating from the late 1940s, often in comedic genres or movies that featured children.  He has worked in film and television - for the small screen in 1972 he made the remarkable “Le avventure di Pinocchio,” and for the silver screen he has worked with the major actors of the Italian and European cinema, including Vittorio De Sica, Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Silvano Mangano, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Claudia Cardinale and Jacqueline Bisset.



Delitto d’amore has the distinction of having been shown at Cannes.  It could be thought of as part melodrama and part social/political commentary, two factory workers living in Northern Italy fall in love caught between the freedoms of the man’s northern values and her traditional Sicilian family.  Comencini thought of it as a “worker’s fairytale” because of its stylization of character and metaphor for the larger context of humanity.


The Movie: 7

Nullo Branzi and Carmela Santoro are co-workers in a fabrication factory. Nullo is from the north, his family are lower middle class anarchists and have given up Catholicism.  Carmela is from Sicily.  She seems to be the breadwinner for her family who have moved to the north where the factory is. They are poor, Catholic, and deeply rooted in traditions that would appear to Westerners today as alternately quaint and cruel.  But there is a deep love there that is unmatched in Nullo’s family.



All the same, Carmela has set her sights on Nullo even before he notices her.  But once he does he is hooked.  The movie is an exploration of culture clashes in the context of a difficult love affair.  At times, the tone is comedic and charming, at other times, violent and painful.  They talk about marriage but cannot agree on where to hold the ceremony: in the town hall, as Nullo would wish, or in church as Carmela insists.  She is unwilling for Nullo to meet her family, feeling that he would leave her because if their poverty.


All of this is set against a careless attitude about workplace safety and general ignorance about the hazards of potential toxicity – the latter exemplified by the milk cart that passes about containers of milk for the women to drink on their shifts in the belief it protects them from the fumes.



Image: 8/7

Raro Video presents Delitto d’amore in the rather odd aspect ratio of 1.73:1, though I don’t see anything amiss in the masking.  The IMDB has nothing to say about the original aspect ratio either.


Like Raro Video’s transfer of other 1970s color films, such as the Fernando di Leo crime movies, their presentation of Delitto d’amore is without complaint.  Blacks have sufficient detail and very little noise or crush.  Edge enhancement is at a minimum.  Contrast is well handled and makes no excuses for the many scenes take place in the fog and or poisonous atmosphere of the town and factory.  There is one curious thing about the flesh tones, especially of the two leads, who, by the way, are relentlessly good looking: a certain peaches and cream complexion that maintains regardless of circumstance.  They always look good, always lit much the same, or, at least filtered the same way.



Audio & Music: 6/9

Raro offers an English dub for those who don’t wish to bother with subtitles, but besides having to put up with unsympathetic English readers, the music and effects tracks are also slighted, and not a little.  I couldn’t recommend against it strongly enough.


I observed in my review of the Fernando di Leo films, a disagreeable tendency to dubbing, even in the same language.  This film seems to suffer much less from this.  Even if some of the actors are dubbed, it isn’t as obtrusive.  I found myself being taken out of the film only once for this reason.



The English translation is idiomatic and hardly any typos.  As for the subtitles, they are in an easy to read white font, and not so large as to get in the way.


The music for Delitto d’amore is unusual in that it relies mainly on the popular song A Curuna by Proffazio & Balistreril.  There is a wonderful nostalgia to this melody, sung and played on guitar and harmonica, a longing and a sadness that complements Carmela’s character perfectly.



Extras: 6

In place of an audio commentary, Raro offers a twelve-minute introduction by the actor/director/writer Adriano Apra.  Apra had nothing to do with this film but he was a contemporary of Comencini (who died at 91 in 20 07) and is an articulate observer of cinema from a number of perspectives.  (It was Apra, by the way, who supplied the excellent commentary “Fellini’s Circus” for Raro Video’s I Clowns.)  In his interview he discusses the work of Comencini and the themes of Delitto d’amore and how the director underscored story, character and context through his technique.  The picture quality of this feature and the translation/subtitles are very fine.  A revealing and absorbing piece.

The 20-page booklet is an outstanding anthology of interviews with the director and reviews of his movie. Also included is a piece on that aspect of any movie that generally gets short shrift: the music.


Recommendation: 8

Carmela’s innocence, naïveté, her tenderness and primitive fears drive the city-wise Nullo crazy.  He doesn’t quite know what to make of her.  He wants the woman he loves to be the embodiment of his fantasies of what she should be, and is it very hard for him to see Carmela as a person in her own right, with honorable needs, even if they don’t make good sense to Nullo.  In this way, theirs is the story of many young lovers, though in Comencini’s hands it is complicated by the politics of the workplace.  For the most part he keeps such politics in the background, serving primarily as a harbinger of tragedy rather than as social polemic.



Raro’s image quality is superb.  The audio is better than usual for this time period of Italian cinema with a sensible balance between dialogue, music and effects (except for the dub, which is a disaster.)  The Bonus Feature interview with Adriano Apra is helpful and recommended, though probably not in advance of first seeing the movie, as it reveals too much of the plot.  The booklet is detailed and extensively reviews the film and the director.  Recommended.



Leonard Norwitz


November 9, 2011


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