A bell for adano Essay

This essay has a total of 1099 words and 5 pages.

a bell for adano

Whoever had the crazy idea of dyeing Miss Tierney's hair blonde? Had the world gone mad?
Whatever the reason, playing the part of an Italian village girl with platinum blonde hair
can have done little to further Gene's career, especially since she does not even attempt
an Italian accent, and limits herself to mechanically following a dreadful script which
does not allow her to develop into any kind of believable character at all. This is a
tasteless film in more ways than one: the scriptwriters' patronising depiction of Italian
village folk as 'charmingly' primitive, stupid, sycophantic ne'er-do-wells has to be seen
to be believed.

It is nearly the end of the Second World War, and the Italian fascists are on the run. A
small military detachment headed by Major Joppolo (John Hodiak) arrives in the village of
Adano and sets about the task of organising village life - appointing a new mayor (the old
one, a fascist collaborator, has fled to the hills), organising food and medical supplies,
and generally restoring order. It is not long before the Major discovers that the
villagers' greatest desire, alongside food, is to see the village bell restored to its
rightful place in the bell tower. Unfortunately, the previous one was sent by Mussolini to
be melted down for weapons manufacture, so the Major resolves to find a replacement.

Soon the Major's attention is attracted by the beauty of blonde village girl Tina (Gene
Tierney), the daughter of a fisherman who is persuaded by the Major to resume his fishing
activities after a long period of enforced idleness. He meets her a few times, but is
awkward and embarrassed with her, and his conscience obliges him to inform her that he is
a married man: she responds by telling him that she has a sweetheart who went away to
fight and whom she has had no news of for some time. Meanwhile the organisation of the
village gradually gets underway: the fascist mayor, who had gone into hiding, reappears
and is mocked and humiliated by both the American soldiers and the villagers; the local
priest recommends co-operation with the American forces to his parishioners; and finally,
a high-level order that the roads are to be kept clear for use by military traffic only is
countermanded by the Major, in a daring act of insubordination, in order to ensure that
food and water supplies can be brought in by the villagers.

The villagers' gratitude to the Major knows no bounds when finally, as a result of an
arrangement with some British naval officers stationed nearby, a new bell is brought into
the village. But just as the bell is being hoisted into position and a party is being held
to celebrate the Major's success in bringing new freedom and prosperity to the village,
word arrives that the Major has been relieved of his post for insubordination and has to
report to Algiers for new duties. The Major bids farewell to Tina, who has recently learnt
of the death of her sweetheart, and goes on his way, leaving behind an Italian village
which has benefited hugely from the American presence, and whose gratitude to the Major is
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