The Fascist (1961)
"Il federale" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  17 June 1965 (USA)
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The quest of a fascist soldier whose mission is to catch a political enemy during the end of the WWII.



(story) (as Castellano) , (story) (as Pipolo) , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Primo Arcovazzi
Georges Wilson ...
Prof. Erminio Bonafé
Gianrico Tedeschi ...
Arcangelo Bardacci
Elsa Vazzoler ...
Matilde Bardacci
Mireille Granelli ...
Rita Bardacci
Gianni Agus ...
Capo del fascio di Cremona
Renzo Palmer ...
Luciano Salce ...
German officer
Franco Giacobini
Mimmo Poli
Gino Buzzanca
Leopoldo Valentini
Peppino De Martino
Nando Angelini


1944. Primo Arcovazzi a fanatic member of Brigate Nere (fascist organization) is in charge to bring an opponent to the regime, Prof. George Wilson, from Abruzzo to Roma. He accepted the mandate because of his wish to be upgraded to "Federale". They travel by a sidecar trough the disastrous Italy, near to the final collapse, under bombings and in agony. Nevertheless the bad situation, they manage to build up a kind of friendship. Primo, even if the signals of final destruction are near, doesn't lose his trust in the regime. The end is near. Written by 1felco

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Release Date:

17 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Operation Idiot  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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First ever film score by Italian master Ennio Morricone. See more »

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User Reviews

Loyal fascist Ugo Tognazzi takes Georges Wilson prisoner
2 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Il federale" (1961) (The fascist) is a good comedy, with many funny situations and lines that made me laugh out loud. I certainly recommend it.

Ugo Tognazzi plays it straight as a highly-indoctrinated and loyal fascist soldier who is given the assignment of arresting a professor, Georges Wilson, and bringing him back to Rome. The professor is a well-known man whom others want to lead a new democratic government. The two men are on the road outdoors for most of the picture, sparring as well as forming a bond. Along the way they encounter some situations where they must cooperate, especially when encountering German soldiers who lock them up and requisition Tognazzi's motorcycle.

Tognazzi is a health and fitness addict who finds an answer to all situations in doing his duty and relying on slogans. He's not mean or cruel at all, but he's firm in his quest to get Wilson back to Rome. Wilson is a canny older man who gently tries to introduce Tognazzi to the idea of freedom. He reads poetry from a tiny book whose pages serve as cigarette wrappers in a pinch.

The picture is neither heavy-handed nor overdone as comedy. It manages to poke fun at fascists and others at a time near the end of the war when both Germans and Americans were invading Italy and many people had to scramble just to get food.

Along the way, they encounter a young road girl (Stefania Sandrelli) who manages to sell Wilson back his own glasses for 150 lira. Tognazzi stops off to visit the man whom he idolizes who trained him in fascism, Gianrico Tedeschi, finding him not quite the hero he thought.

Although the war is all but lost, the dedicated Tognazzi persists. He repeats the slogan that the fascists will win because their cause is just. In one amusing encounter, he's almost taken prisoner by two teenage fascists who grill him on important dates in fascist history. By the time they reach Rome, it's Tognazzi who faces danger.

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