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


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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Agenore Incrocci (story) &
Furio Scarpelli (story) ...
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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:
Funny and bitter, as Italian comedies often are See more (12 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 Boradin
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?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in 1960 (2010)See more »


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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Funny and bitter, as Italian comedies often are, 18 July 2009
Author: GrandeMarguerite from France

Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1959, this film deserves more attention from movie lovers all around the world. Some critics regard "The Great War" as Monicelli's finest work - and they might be right. Set in Northern Italy during World War I, of course the film is definitely antiwar. As Monicelli once said in an interview : "I wanted to show things as they were -- as usual, badly conducted and led, and no one wanting to fight, or knowing what they were fighting for." It is history from the point of view of the humble people, with a good deal of irony. Starting as a light comedy, "The Great War" ends on a very poignant note, while it doesn't hide any of the horrors of trench warfare.

To me, Mario Monicelli and Dino Risi were the masters of Italian (tragi)comedy back in the 50s and 60s. Their best films (like this one) offer a combination of levity, social criticism and black comedy which is extremely appealing and unique. That said, Monicelli and Risi would never have done such great films without great actors. Here, Gassman and Sordi are a wonderful pair as two army mates caught in a conflict they don't really care about. The film also features beauty queen Silvana Mangano in a small but important part as Gassman's love interest.

A classic, unmissable.

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