7.8/10
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The Overcoat (1952)

Il cappotto (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 7 October 1953 (USA)
Based on Nikolai Gogol's story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present (1952), the story is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(adaptation), (adaptation) | 5 more credits »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Renato Rascel ...
Carmine De Carmine
Yvonne Sanson ...
Caterina
Giulio Stival ...
Il sindaco
Ettore Mattia ...
Il segretario generale
Giulio Calì ...
Il sarto
Olinto Cristina
Anna Carena ...
L'affittacamere (as Anna Maria Carena)
Sandro Somarè ...
Il fidanzato di Vittoria
Luigi Moneta
Silvio Bagolini ...
Il venditore ambulante
Dina Perbellini
Loris Gizzi
Mario Crippa
Alfredo Ragusa
Nino Marchetti ...
(as Nino Marchetti)
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Storyline

Based on Nikolai Gogol's story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present (1952), the story is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose only desire is for a new overcoat. The town Mayor (Giulio Stival) is planning a reception for some visiting VIP's in honor of a new, wasteful piece of construction. The clerk bungles his assignment and is fired. But he stumbles onto some bribery concerning the architects and, to keep him quiet, he's given his job back plus a bonus. He buys his long-cherished overcoat, and it makes him so presentable he wins newly-found respect from everybody. But his coat is stolen and the bitter weather causes him to contact a fever and he dies. His funeral upsets the Mayor's reception when he returns as a ghost. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

overcoat | mayor | ghost | poor | city hall | See All (50) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Overcoat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Could have been a classic but marred by clunkiness.
17 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Il Cappotto is a surprisingly faithful rendering of the Gogol short story. The Overcoat is happily relocated from bureaucratic nineteenth century Russia to corrupt post war Italy. There are many wonderful and original scenes; a succession of lodgers trying to listen to the heartbeat of a dying man through a stethoscope; a hearse interrupting the mayor's self-congratulatory speechifying at a public meeting; a tailor ducking down alleys to get a further look at his beautiful coat being worn by its new owner. The film is also funny, but the comedy is sometimes jarring. There is what can only be called a Chaplin-esque central performance though without Chaplin's mischief, some rather broad satire of Italian political life, and a more bleak, savage humour that is perhaps more faithful to Gogol. Some of this is marvellous, some of it rather dated. As the film progresses it picks up momentum but unfortunately the clunkiness of some of the first half hour hangs over the rest of the film leaving a feeling that it could all have been a little tighter and maybe a little tougher. The end in particular exchanges Gogol's horror for spiritual uplift and is a disappointment.

In the end, Il Cappotto feels like a film that doesn't quite hold together its disparate elements, but has some unforgettable scenes worthy of de Sica or Fellini. Enjoyable but frustrating.


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