A native of Padua, Rate Furlan graduated in law, then received his diploma at St Peter’s Conservatory in Majella and attended the Centro Sperimentale Dramatic Arts Academy in Rome. He began his artistic career as an opera director and entered the film industry in 1948, as the screenwriter and artistic director on the feature film ‘Giudicatemi!’ (Lit. ‘Judge Me!’) In 1949 he worked as a scriptwriter, set designer, and assistant director on ‘La Figlia della Madonna’ (Lit. ‘Mary’s Daughter’) After an unreleased film, he made his directorial debut in 1949 with ‘L’Acqua li Portò Via’ (Lit. ‘They Were Carried Away by the Water’) which was followed by another four feature films until 1976.
Source: Wikipedia/Rate Furlan
In post-war Italy Naples was one of the first cities to identify the new path the film industry was taking, leaning towards more populist, commercial tendencies. Numerous production companies sprung up in this period, populated by personalities like Roberto Amoroso, Enzo Di Gianni, Antonio Ferrigno and Natale Montillo, who ran Sud film, Eva Film, Sap Film, l’AF film and MC Film, respectively. These production companies were notable for operating on extremely low budgets and for producing films which specifically targeted local audiences. On occasion they would also be exported overseas to cater for southern migrant audiences living in New York, or in the north of Italy in cities like Milan or Turin where the migrant populations were also considerably sizeable.
Produced by Melody Film, ‘Malavita’ by Rate Furlan (a native of Padua, based in Naples) is a perfect example of this production process, where the director also serves as both scriptwriter and camera operator. Abandoning neo-realism, the dominant genre at the time, Furlan’s tale of criminality has its roots in the Neapolitan stage musicals which were hugely popular at the time (commonly referred to as ‘sceneggiate’)
“A film devoid of any artistic or technical merit, solely focused on plot-twists and cheap effects”. (Anonymous “Segnalazioni Cinematografiche”, Vol. XXIX, del 1951)