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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 1,945 users  
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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:

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Language:

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Release Date:

28 October 1959 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Guerra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Referenced in Splendor (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

A totally fulfillingly, masterfull black comedy
27 May 2001 | by (Oslo Norway) – See all my reviews

La Grande guerra is one of the underseen, undervalued hordes of sublime European films that never see the light of day.

In the 1960s in the centre of London there was the Academy, Oxford Street, Curzon, Mayfair and one of two other cinemas where the delights of the European cinema were on view. I have lived in Oslo since 1990. It is a cinema friendly city, but overloaded with Hollywood rubbish like most Bruce Willis actioners, or Nicolas Cage going for the money and not to expand his substantial talents as he has done in the past.

This is not intellectual snobbery, just a cry from the heart about the lack of quality that is so endemic in current films.

"Crouching Tiger, Flaming Dragon" - I forget the real title is an example of American audiences accepting the quality of non-US movies.

"Die Hard"-type movies are good only to perhaps release aggression. It shows the typical obsessive need for America to breed only heroes. The villains with the fantastic exception of John Malkovich are usually superb English actors with foreign accents. Alan Rickman in "Die Hard" and Jeremy Irons in one of the mindless sequels.

U571, now the most popular film in video shops where I live is such a devasting con-trick. A real piece of history when a British submarine acquired the Enigma decoding machine which made a significant difference for the Allies to get advance information about German war plans. The heroes are American. Sickening. Dramatic licence is one thing, but fraud is another. The event occurred six months before the US even entered the war. These are well-known complaints.

Reminds one of the crassness of putting of Warner Bros. promoting "Objective Burma" in the autumn after the end of the war. Depiction of Errol Flynn (unfit for war service) winning against the Japanese military with not one British soldier in sight.

Reminds me of the stories of a close friend and veteran of World War II. The US Army using earthmoving machinery to dig trenches when the British had shovels, the often sidelining of American troops due to the prevalence of veneral disease. The stories of British and other troops relieving American positions with a quarter of the manpower.

In movies, with the exception of garishly-suited black pimps in stretch limos, the villains in movies and TV series used BMWs, and other European cars, which also were often beset with engine problems. Unlike the perfection of GM, Ford models etc.

_Don't get me wrong. With the exception of a mad Bellevue, New York psychiatrist I had once Americans are certainly charming, friendly people.

La Grande Guerra is one of the thousands of films that ought to be revived every 10 years like a classic Disney feature.


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