IMDb > The Great War (1959)
La grande guerra
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The Great War (1959) More at IMDbPro »La grande guerra (original title)

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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Agenore Incrocci (story) &
Furio Scarpelli (story) ...
View company contact information for The Great War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 October 1959 (Italy) See more »
The Great War is hell at its at their mightiest...the screen at its greatest!
The Italian Army fought against the Austrians during World War I. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Black comedy with two botcher and coward soldiers masterfully played by Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Alberto Sordi ... Oreste Jacovacci

Vittorio Gassman ... Giovanni Busacca

Silvana Mangano ... 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 Bordin
Tiberio Murgia ... Rosario Nicotra
Livio Lorenzon ... Sergente Barriferri
Ferruccio Amendola ... De Concini
Carlo D'Angelo ... Capitano Ferri
Achille Compagnoni ... Il cappellano
Luigi Fainelli ... Giacomazzi
Marcello Giorda ... Generale
Tiberio Mitri ... Mandich
Gérard Herter ... Capitano austriaco
Guido Celano ... Italian major
Mario Feliciani
Mario Mazza
Mario Colli
Gianni Baghino
Mario Frera
Gian Luigi Polidoro
Leandro Punturi ... Il bambino
Edda Ferronao

Directed by
Mario Monicelli 
Writing credits
Agenore Incrocci (story and screenplay) (as Age) &
Furio Scarpelli (story and screenplay) (as Scarpelli) and
Luciano Vincenzoni (story and screenplay) and
Mario Monicelli (story and screenplay)

Agenore Incrocci (dialogue) (as Age) &
Furio Scarpelli (dialogue) (as Scarpelli)

Produced by
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer
Original Music by
Nino Rota 
Cinematography by
Roberto Gerardi 
Giuseppe Rotunno 
Leonida Barboni (uncredited)
Giuseppe Serrandi (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Adriana Novelli 
Production Design by
Mario Garbuglia 
Costume Design by
Danilo Donati 
Piero Gherardi (Silvana Mangano's costumes)
Makeup Department
Rino Carboni .... makeup artist
Romolo de Martino .... makeup artist
Production Management
Giorgio Adriani .... production leader
Alfredo De Laurentiis .... production leader
Luigi De Laurentiis .... general organization
Giorgio Morra .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Giovanni Fago .... assistant director
Maurizio Lucci .... assistant director
Mario Maffei .... director help
Art Department
Aldo Puccini .... construction manager
Sound Department
Rocco Roy Mangano .... sound (as Roy Mangano)
Bruno Moreal .... sound
Special Effects by
Urbisaglia Gatti .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Silvano Ippoliti .... camera operator
Goffredo Bellisario .... camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Franco Ferrara .... musical director
Other crew
Silvana Mangini Colizzi .... continuity (as Mangini Silvana)
Carlo Salsa .... consultant
Ferruccio Amendola .... voice dubbing: Gérard Herter (uncredited)
Mario Colli .... voice dubbing: Achille Compagnoni (uncredited)
Riccardo Cucciolla .... voice dubbing: Nicola Arigliano (uncredited)
Nino Del Fabbro .... voice dubbing: Bernard Blier (uncredited)
Turi Ferro .... voice dubbing: Tiberio Murgia (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La grande guerra" - Italy (original title)
See more »
137 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Italian censorship visa # 30261 delivered on 16-9-1959.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Una Storia da Ridere (2008)See more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Black comedy with two botcher and coward soldiers masterfully played by Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman, 28 October 2014
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain

Italy, 1916. Roman Oreste Jacovacci (Alberto Sordi) and Milanese Giovanni Busacca (Vittorio Gassman) are reluctantly recruited to Italian army during Austria-Italy war . They both attempting a great number of schemes to get out for fighting and working . Giovanni bribes Oreste, believing to his fake pledges to make him evading the army . Both of whom try in every way to avoid serving the army but their circumstance dictates otherwise , as the destiny make them meeting again on the train headed to the front. However , Oreste stolen money to Giovanni they become friends and in first times are allocated to a secondary front . As two Italian soldiers find themselves in the mists of Austrian front , much against their will . Here they spend some months in relative peace and Giovanni finds time to have affair with a whore named Constantina (Silvana Mangano married to producer Dino De Laurentiis) . But war is getting everyday closer and unfortunately, they fall in the hands of a stiff officer Lieutenant Gallina (Romolo Valli) and a tough sergeant (Livio Lorenzon) . During the most important battle among Italians and Austro-Hungarians, when the Italians had to defend the river Piave from the Austrians , Giovanni and Oreste are in charge to deliver a vital message to the Italian headquarters , but they are trapped . Austrian officer (Gerard Herter) that, under life menace, starts an interrogation to find out the Italian message . The Great War is hell at its hottest , men at their mightiest , the screen at its greatest!

This is an amusing film about two rogues called to serve the army in the WWI , as all the Italian youths , as the Italian Army fought against the Austrians during World War I , being excellently re-enacted by including movements of large numbers of soldiers during battle frames that are well come-to-life . This is a zany comedy seeing the misfit couple in all kinds of troubles involving Italian Army . This entertaining Sordi and Gassman recital provides too much amusement in detailing the duo's exploits in the wartime front . Slightly muddled but generally nice performed . Lots of comedy and hilarious dialog , including some spectacular battles with hundred of extras provided by actual Italian infantry . The film relies heavily on the continuous relationship between Albert Sordi and Vittorio Gassman , but it doesn't makes tiring , neither dull but entertaining . The main premise results to be two bungler as well as coward soldiers who under twisted circumstances turn into heroes . Special mention to Silvana Mangano as prostitute Costantina who falls in love for Giovanni . Very good Italian support cast such as Folco Lulli , Bernard Blier , Romolo Valli , Carlo A'Angelo , Livio Lorenzon and Gerard Herter , among others . Evocative and adequate photography by master cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno , Federico Fellini ordinary . Imaginative as well as sensitive musical score by the great Nino Rota , conducted by usual Franco Ferrara .

The motion picture was well directed by Mario Monicelli who gets to capture the same period feeling during the Great War . Mario Monicelli was born in 1915 Tuscany and died in 2010 , Rome ; being a good writer/filmmaker expert on comedies . As he was a writer and director, known for The army Brancaleone (1966), La ragazza Con Pistola (1968) , The marquis of Grillo (1981) and his greatest hit : Rufufú (1958). In fact , his movies Rufufú (1958), The Great War (1959) were Oscar-nominate for "Best Foreign Language Film". Furthermore , The Great War won Golden Lion in Festival of Venice .

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