This was the third Emilio Salgari adaptation to be filmed by Luigi Capuano and produced by Ottavio Poggi for Liber Film and Eichberg in the mid sixties. This time, there was no Sandokan, with two subsidiary characters from the previous films – Yanez’s henchmen Tremel Naik and Kammamuri – elevated to the heroic roles.
The short burst of 1960s ‘Sandokan’ films, based on Emilio Salgari’s most famous literary character, commenced with Umberto Lenzi’s Sandokan the Great (Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem) in 1963. It proved enough of a moneymaker to spawn two unofficial sequels, produced by Ottavio Poggi for Liber Films and directed by Luigi Capuano, the first of which was Sandokan Fights Back.
Maruzzella is a little known 1956 film that neatly intersects several popular Italian genres of the time without really belonging to any of them. The fishing village setting is familiar from numerous Neapolitan dramas, there are regular songs in the fashion of the musicarelli and the story is heavily influenced by the hugely popular melodramas.