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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 1,906 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:

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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

 
La grande guerra (1959)
4 January 2012 | by (Portland OR) – See all my reviews

A comedy (or perhaps more accurately a dramedy) about two lazy, cowardly Italian soldiers in the first World War. Sordi and Gassman are both terrific, there's some funny bits and touching commentary, and the film is very well shot with realistic battlefields. It's a sharp, humorous anti-war sentiment. I'm a bit at a loss to explain why I wasn't more taken with it. Maybe it was too scattershot, too episodic. While this does sort of mimic the chaos and randomness of war, I never felt like I could settle into the movie. Some event would start to develop and then be over a few minutes later. Then again, I can think of other movies I enjoy that do something similar (M. HULOT'S HOLIDAY) so maybe that's not it. For whatever reason, I didn't get fully engaged with this film, although I do recognize its assets. One of them being the fantastic, and very appropriate, ending.


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