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Fists in the Pocket (1965)

I pugni in tasca (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 May 1968 (USA)
A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions.

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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Marino Masé ...
Augusto
Liliana Gerace ...
Madre
Pier Luigi Troglio ...
Leone
Jeannie McNeil ...
Lucia
Irene Agnelli ...
Bruna
Celestina Bellocchio ...
Ragazza alla festa
Stefania Troglio ...
Cameriera
Gianni Schicchi ...
Tonino
Alfredo Filippazzi ...
Dottore
Gianfranco Cella ...
Ragazzo alla festa
Lella Bertante
Sandra Bergamini
Mauro Martini ...
Ragazzo
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Storyline

Alessandro, a young epileptic with paranoid inclinations, decides to relieve Augusto, the only sound brother, from the burden of a numerous family plagued with hereditary diseases. After a first aborted attempt, the dreadful series of accidents/murders is started by pushing the blind mother into a ravine. Then comes the turn of Leone, the idiotic brother. Will Alessandro be able to bring to completion his obsessive project ? Written by Stefano Cristiani <cristiani@astrpd.pd.astro.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fist in His Pocket  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival. It was loved by young critics, loathed with equal passion by the Catholic establishment and earned huffy put-downs from Luis Buñuel and Michelangelo Antonioni, two heroes of director Marco Bellocchio. See more »

Goofs

Although he is dead, Leone's right eye can be seen twitching as he lies in his coffin during the wake. See more »

Quotes

Alessandro: I'm a volcano of ideas.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happy New Year (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece!
21 November 2000 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

The first time I saw Fists in the Pocket, I was 7 or 8 years old and I thought the film was a horror movie because of its gruesome subject matter. It had freaked me a lot then. Today, after viewing it for the first time in its entirety, and though I don't think the film can be considered to be an all and out horror flick, I still think there's enough gruesome and eerie qualities to this drama to call it an authentic neo-horror film. A horror film with intelligence. Unlike Hitchcock (no, I'm not saying his films aren't intelligent) or the plethora of other less subtle horror films, where the horror or terror is mostly obvious and played for thrills to manipulate an audience, in Fists the disturbing aspects aren't played out for thrills. They're there to show the sad situation in which the characters exist. Because of this, the film has a true morbid atmosphere, quasi-Gothic in nature, that permeates it from beginning to end. The characters inability to see the horrifying things they do or think (for most part of the narrative) makes this film absolutely unique in film history. It's a vivid "intimate" portrait of a dysfunctional family that's almost a cerebral horror film.

Simply put, it's brilliant!

The actors are all excellent but Lou Castel's performance as the frustrated, crazed, death obsessed brother is mesmerizing. You can't take your eyes off him. And even though it was made in 1965, the film feels contemporary, mainly because of its refusal to amplify and exploit it shocking aspects or the characters' foibles to heights of schlock or melodrama. Plus, the fluid direction gives this morbid drama (which could have easily been heavy and static) a deceptively "normal" quality which works perfectly and adds even more to all of the characters' sad state of mind. The film is equally claustrophobic and expansive; claustrophobic with the (very) tight interiors and the family drama that (like one of the characters of the film wants to do) makes you want to break free and escape at all cost; and expansive because of the Italian countryside that surrounds these doomed characters. The scenery, natural and man-made, is a character of its own, seemingly symbolizing the characters precipitous existence but also overwhelmingly vast, stark and crushing, dwarfing the already tightly-knit family down to minuscule size, which then heightens their already claustrophobic existence that much more. Ennio Morricone's score is characteristically moody & chilling and complements the film perfectly.

Fists in the Pocket is a very earthy, grounded, morbid & blunt portrait of a doomed family! A must-see for those who love "pure" cinema.


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