Writer/director Francesco de Robertis' Angelo (1951), an affecting slice of neorealism, was an unexpected international success. The title character, played by non-professional Angelo Maggio, was the illegitimate offspring of an Italian woman and a black American GI. The film concentrated upon the woman's husband, an ex-convict who after virtually going to hell and back finds the capacity to forgive within himself. The 1952 sequel Angelo in the Crowd is every bit as compelling as the original. Still a remarkably unaffected performer, Angelo Maggio repeats his role. Now confined to a Catholic orphanage, Angelo slips away from his caretakers and heads to the streets of the city. Director DeMitri superbly conveys the wonders and terrors of a teeming Italian metropolis from a child's-eye view.
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