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The Great War (1959)
"La grande guerra" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | War  -  28 October 1959 (Italy)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,902 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

Italy, 1916. Oreste Jacovacci and Giovanni Busacca are called, as all the Italian youths, to serve the army in the WWI. They both try in every way to avoid serving the army. Giovanni bribes... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Oreste Jacovacci
...
Giovanni Busacca
...
Costantina
Folco Lulli ...
Bordin
Bernard Blier ...
Capitano Castelli
Romolo Valli ...
Tenente Gallina
Vittorio Sanipoli ...
Maggiore Venturi
Nicola Arigliano ...
Giardino
Geronimo Meynier ...
Il portaordini
Mario Valdemarin ...
Sottotenente Lorenzi
Elsa Vazzoler ...
Moglie di Boradin
Tiberio Murgia ...
Rosario Nicotra
Livio Lorenzon ...
Sergente Barriferri
Ferruccio Amendola ...
De Concini
Carlo D'Angelo ...
Capitano Ferri
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Storyline

Italy, 1916. Oreste Jacovacci and Giovanni Busacca are called, as all the Italian youths, to serve the army in the WWI. They both try in every way to avoid serving the army. Giovanni bribes Oreste, believing to his false pledges to make him avoiding the army. But the destiny make them meeting again on the train directed to the front. Nevertheless Oreste stolen money to Giovanni they become friends and in first times are allocated to a secondary and quite front (village of Tigliano). Here they spend some months in relative peace and Giovanni finds time to fall in love for prostitute Costantina. But war is getting everyday closer. During the most important battle among Italians and Austro-Hungarians, Giovanni and Oreste are in charge to deliver a vital message to the Italian headquarters. But, unfortunately, they fall in the hands of an Austrian officer that, under life menace, starts an interrogation to find out the Italian message. What they should try to do now? Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Great War is hell at its hottest...men at their mightiest...the screen at its greatest!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

28 October 1959 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Guerra  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Italian comic masterpiece
14 October 2005 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

I've only seen it twice, and it's already one of my favorite Italian movies of all time.Directed by legendary Mario Monicelli, this excellent comedy is set during WWI, when the Italians had to defend the river Piave from the Austrians.Two of the Italian soldiers happen to be really lazy cowards:Giovanni Busacca(Vittorio Gassman) from Milan and Oreste Jacovacci(Alberto Sordi) from Rome.They would rather spend their time at home with the mates and the ladies instead of fighting for their country.The only fights they have are with each other, both insulting the other one with their particular accents and dialects (you probably have to be Italian yourself to really appreciate most of the gags). The most interesting thing is perhaps how the two actors handle their roles: Sordi is very calm, controlled and "normal", while Gassman just can't stop being nervous, shouting and gesticulating all the time.

Just like La Vita è Bella, this movie's purpose is to blame the horrors of war as well as making you laugh as much as you can.

For those who like Italian cinema, La Grande Guerra is a must-see.


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