Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Valerio Zurlini|
|Produced by||Silvio Clementelli|
|Written by||Valerio Zurlini
Suso Cecchi d'Amico
|Starring||Eleonora Rossi Drago
Enrico Maria Salerno
|Music by||Mario Nascimbene
and Temptation sung by Teddy Reno
|Editing by||Mario Serandrei|
|Release date(s)||November 13, 1959|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Estate violenta (U.S. title: Violent Summer) is a 1959 Italian award-winning black-and-white drama film directed by Valerio Zurlini, depicting a love affair between a young draft-dodging son of a prominent Fascist, portrayed by Jean Louis Trintignant, and a navy officer's widow older than he, portrayed by Eleonora Rossi Drago. It is set in Italian seaside resort Riccione in July 1943, around the time of the dismissal of Benito Mussolini during the Allied invasion of Sicily in World War II. Estate violenta is Zurlini's second feature film, with which he made his name as film director.
Carlo Caremoli (Trintignant) arrives in Riccione and enjoys life together with his friends at his father's villa. Riccione is still peaceful, and only few things remind about the war fought in the south. On seaside holiday, the youth witness a German fighter flying low over the beach and causing panic among the crowd. Carlo tries to protect a frightened little girl who runs towards him and meets her mother Roberta, a navy officer's widow (Rossi Drago). He helps her to take the girl home. Carlo is attracted to Roberta, often meets her and even has a trip with her to San Marino, although Roberta's mother (Lilla Brignone) disapproves this new acquaintance and urges her to stay away from Carlo, partly because of his father, Ettore Caremoli (Enrico Maria Salerno), who has been a brutal Fascist. Meanwhile, Maddalena (Federica Ranchi), a young sister of Roberta's deceased husband, arrives from Catanzaro, fleeing the impending war. Maddalena spends time with Carlo's friends, and Roberta together with her is invited to a circus. However, the show is interrupted by an air raid blackout, and the friends proceed to a night party at Carlo's villa. After watching flares in the night sky, the men and women form couples and start dancing to a record of Temptation, Carlo with his girlfriend Rosanna (Jacqueline Sassard) and Roberta with a much younger boy. The camera cuts between Carlo and Roberta, glaring at each other passionately. Carlo asks Roberta's hand for the next dance, and the couple ends up kissing in the garden, which deeply hurts Rosanna. The next day Roberta initially refuses to admit her feelings to him, but ultimately accedes. Meanwhile, on July 25 the news of Mussolini's ouster was announced. Carlo and Roberta continue to go out on dates. However, Carlo's father is forced to flee, and his villa is confiscated. Carlo meets Roberta once again and spends a night with her, provoking discontent of her mother. Maddalena decides to leave. During a curfew a patrol discovers the couple on the beach and founds out that Carlo's military ID has expired. As his father has fled, he has no chance to renew it anymore. Roberta proposes to hide at her villa in Rovigo, and the next morning they take a train. However, during the trip the tracks are bombed by the Allies, and the couple barely escape death. After the air raid, Roberta gets back on the train, but Carlo refuses to join her until the war is over, and they part as the train leaves.
- Mar del Plata Film Festival: Best Actress (Eleonora Rossi Drago).
- Nastro d'Argento: Best Actress (Eleonora Rossi Drago), Best Score (Mario Nascimbene).