- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Giving Craftsmen Their Due
Tempest, a big thundering-hooves production, achieved a feeling of epic contrasts primarily because of Aldo Tonti's deeply saturated, often earth-toned wide screen imagery, and with the assistance of Piero Piccioni's ominous, imposingly emotive score (plus a bit of Mozart, probably a well-considered choice for Catherine the Great's court). On the theater screen this movie looked as if the producer, Dino De Laurentiis, would have spent his last dime on it rather than cheat the audience. Since this was a case of production values used to tell a story as sweepingly as possible, rather than just for an expensive static eyeful, his generosity of spirit, an impassioned belief in what he owed the viewer, seemed ideal for a genre dedicated to trying to overwhelm the senses. Those who remember Tempest with pleasure are right; they picked up on something most of the critics didn't. But panned-and-scanned for TV, it's panned, all right. The alternating reels of grainy, faded color and the deteriorated sound quality reduce it to something far more negligible than necessary. Faults that were easy to overlook in the theater, such as the somewhat underdeveloped plot (which the vast action sequences rode right over anyway), now tend to stick out too much. The picture deserves a full restoration because in its original form and of its type (which works only on a huge scale) it was a beauty. And while we're at it, if we're going to preserve the past, we should try to right the wrongs that time and distributors' negligence have done to the craftsmanship of people like Aldo Tonti and many of the others who worked on this movie and did their considerable best to make it a good one.
THE MUSIC SCORE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
- Lewis M. Greenberg
Finally, the symphonic background score for TEMPEST (LA TEMPESTA) is at last available on CD. Unfortunately, the Russian Peasant Dance music is missing and Mozart's minuet has been replaced by something somewhat comparable but not as moving. From the opening credit music to the finale reprise, this is a dazzling score. The peasant revolt and upheavals of Catherine the Great's reign along with a lush love theme are only a part of the late Piero Piccioni's compositional masterpiece. Now, if we could only get this film on a restored DVD!
Missed???Why not part of Russian Theme
Should have been paired with Scarlet Empress This is a neglected epic
A Neglected Epic from Russian Mytho-History
- Lewis M. Greenberg
This extravaganza of peasant revolution and imperial impersonation during the reign of Catherine the Great is excellent on every level. Vastly underrated.Lush photography and costumes with a superb cast headed by Van Heflin as the "Pretender" and Viveca Lindfors as Catherine. Silvana Mangano, Robert Keith, Geoffrey Horne,and Agnes Moorehead along with others also star. The splendiforous sumptuousness of the Russian court is contrasted with the mundane world of the general populace. The music, not yet available in any medium, is by the late great Piero Piccioni and is a rousing symphonic romantic score that deserves to be recorded.From the main theme, love theme, Russian dance music, general background music,& music from Mozart's 39th symphony,this movie is a visual and audio feast. The climax of the film is especially moving.