La Terra trema - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La Terra trema Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2015
A sadly misguided film that deserves more credit for what it wants to say than how it does it, since it is marred by stiff, unnatural performances by non-actors (like watching a school play), a heavy-handed dialogue, a redundant narration and a formal rigor incompatible with the type of neorealist docufiction that Visconti wants to make.
jimbotender
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2008
Black and white films used to prevent us several times from actually noticing the underlying notes.The incredible fact is..Terra Trema must be one of the openly,politically charged emeralds of film-making.The fishermen are nothing more but pawns of the system,the all-seeing machine.
January 21, 2011
It's a rather long and arduous film but it provides great insight into the poor lives of the fishermen. It's so evocative, it made me wanna join Marxism. Although, I am not sure what that even means.
½ September 25, 2009
The photography is very impressive and the story held my interest. But there are some problems. The most prominent is the use of voice-over narration, which is scattered liberally throughout the film and adds absolutely nothing. I also didn't buy into Visconti's socialist message. Yes, the deck is stacked against 'Ntoni and his family, but he could have made it if he hadn't made a bone-headed mistake. And the movie has a frustrating way of dropping plot threads when they're no longer useful.
½ May 20, 2009
I would have enjoyed this film a lot more if it were shorter. the story was well-conceived, the acting was convincing (especially for non-actors), and certain elements of dialogue and cinematography were very touching and poetic. the pacing, however, was very slow and the overall film is just very depressing. I understand how that contributes to Visconti's neorealist vision, but I think it just dragged on a bit too long.
½ August 8, 2008
A surprisingly engaging tale and a great example of Neorealism. Unfortunately, the Marxist cliches were outdated even in '48, and I never understood how the plot isn't supposed to get us to feel sorry for how tough the wholesalers have it.
January 16, 2005
Very evocative movie especially considering that none of the cast are professional actors. Good story. Great insight into a society we normally don't see. A very honest film.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2015
A sadly misguided film that deserves more credit for what it wants to say than how it does it, since it is marred by stiff, unnatural performances by non-actors (like watching a school play), a heavy-handed dialogue, a redundant narration and a formal rigor incompatible with the type of neorealist docufiction that Visconti wants to make.
½ November 29, 2013
Despite a slow start, this highly Marxist drama reflects the destitute of the proletariat and sarcasm over Mussolini's regime vividly and vigorously. A true masterpiece for both the Neorealist cinema and Communist studies.
September 14, 2014
"La Terra trema" is director Luchino Visconti at his very best.
December 20, 2012
I found it very dull and boring :/
October 23, 2012
Italian Neo-realist masterpiece done with narration about postwar peasant fishermen struggling to survive.
October 18, 2012
Van dos veces y podria volverla a ver.... cuantas veces sea necesaria.
August 26, 2012
A grueling slog, even with narration.
My favorite irony, however. In that, while it's intended to be a Marxist clarion call for the working class against the oppressive bourgeoisie, it's actually the biggest ad for free markets I've ever seen. LOL. Capitalism, at its finest. If one can get a higher rate selling dish themselves than to a wholesaler, one becomes a business entrepreneur & increases capital. Nothing Marxist, except the constant whining.

While I agree with their mission, I despise the whiny, victimhood tone of everything.
Not gonna lie...I delighted to see the loud & righteous revolutionary being brought down, jobless, & needing to be hired by the people he revolted against. I may suggest this was not the intent of the filmmaker, but it was as powerful as any intention. Great schadenfreude.

However, he exhibits the typical Marxist hypocrisy. Talks about hating greed of those who are making more money than him... wants to make more money for himself.
The one saving grace of this film was how, whether intentionally or not, it proved the older generation right, & the know it all younger generation, wrong. That was the most appealing part of this movie, to me. But the amazing thing was that, even after all this, he still hasn't learned his lesson. He still thinks he was right, and continues on with a martyr complex, about how what he did was for everyone, as though he was doing anyone any favours. It's really a bunch of self-righteous ridiculousness. He starts preaching to a kid about the tired old tropes of advancing only through a common good. In one sense, that's right, in terms of a voluntary community & allowing for the success of others. But what is meant by that here, of course, is a forced common good by self-righteous do-gooders, who when they try to inflict their good on society, end up ravaging it, as we saw here. In that sense, it's one of the more absurd movies I've ever seen. It undercuts the ONE thing that makes it tolerable.

It's supposed to be communistic, but I must say, I agreed with most of the character's disputes. It's hardly Marxist to not want to get screwed over by your buyers & to want to make more money with the fish you catch, with a raise or venturing on your own. That's pure capitalism.

I just really hate young people who see themselves as revolutionary figures & think that anything they've come up with is new, & therefore anything old is useless (such as arithmetic). This self-congratulatory, & phony mind-frame both bores & annoys me. The people who opposed the protagonist were portrayed as incredibly one-dimensional. And I generally despise people who have a total lack of humility about themselves.

Again, It was most interesting to see the fiery young character, at some point, become like the wise old men whom he refused to listen to.
The blatant emotional appeals when the bankers came to foreclose the home of the children playing on the floor were overdone. When you borrow lots of money from someone, try not to expect it for free, or without payback. The family falls apart... all on account of the effects of his do-good leftism.
½ August 17, 2012
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½ July 5, 2012
True vision of real life of real Scilian fishermen.
July 4, 2012
Still watching films set in Sicily.....
January 29, 2012
There are some parts in this film that work and some that do not. The overall story is not bad, following one family's struggle to break away from the norm and to become independent entrepreneurs. Plus, for being nonprofessional first timers, the actors are surprisingly decent, managing to portray the anguish and feelings of betrayal and suffering that their characters are going through.

Unfortunately the film isn't overly strong on the technical side. The film suffers from the classic pitfall of "show, don't tell", because most of the important scenes are narrated over and explained way too much in detail. In addition, the film just drags. I get that some film are supposed to be kind of slow, and in this case it would even be justified as the film tries to portray a fairly long stretch of time, but it doesn't remove the fact that some scenes just seem to go on forever. At some points I was even left pondering whether the film had just frozen altogether. Plus the sound design is terrible. Most of the background noise was either cacophonic, overly loud, unintelligible or all three at the same time.

Still, it's not a bad film. You can see that the director had great passion for his subject and, as I said, the actors are surprisingly talented, which manages to save the movie from being unwatchable. So, in the end, it's average.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2011
A longstanding monument of neo-realism made by an aspiring Italian communist that openly criticized neoliberalism in the world's economy. Labor exploitation has always been a politically important issue. La Terra Trema: Episodio del Mare is a controversial and extraordinary masterpiece, even visually, with the powerful presence of the sea as an inert character, as a prophet of upcoming misfortunes. Nature is not the one to blame, or destiny, for that matter; it's the economic structure.

100/100
September 4, 2011
A stark criticism not just of the wholesalers who manipulate the fishermen but also of the dead hand of Sicilian society at the time. Appears a little clunky these days and what must have been its shock value at the time has disappeared, leaving its heart to shine.
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