This book deals with melodrama - the key cinematic form of post-war Italy. The commercial success and formal perfection of melodrama is central to the re-establishment of the post-war Italian film industry, ensuring cinema's position at the forefront of 20th century mass culture. Melodrama interacts with the well-documented genres of neorealist and art cinema are well documented but it is through melodrama that one can discover most about national culture in Italy at this time, understand film's relationship to popular habits and ideas, and draw the true history of cinema. It connects less established areas of research such as popular neorealism to more well-known subjects such as domestic melodrama. It provides an analysis of cineopera or opera film. It helps to pioneer the area of popular Italian cinema. It contributes to both Italian Studies and Film.