Fists in the Pocket (1965)
"I pugni in tasca" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  27 May 1968 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 2,388 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 26 critic

A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions.


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Il Posto (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A very young college graduate attempts to obtain a position with a large corporation.

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Stars: Sandro Panseri, Loredana Detto, Tullio Kezich
China Is Near (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A pair of working class lovers - a secretary and an accountant, scheme to marry into the rich landed gentry. Their targets are a professor, Vittorio Gordini Malvezzi ,(Glauco Mauri), who is... See full summary »

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Glauco Mauri, Elda Tattoli, Paolo Graziosi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A celebrated painter receives a visit from a cardinal's assistant, who informs him that his mother could become a saint.

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Sergio Castellitto, Jacqueline Lustig, Chiara Conti
Vincere (2009)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of Mussolini's secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino.

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi
I Vitelloni (1953)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi
Il gabbiano (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Remo Girone, Laura Betti, Pamela Villoresi
The Fiances (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the industrial North, Giovanni is a skilled factory worker offered a promotion if he'll go to Sicily for 18 months to assist in a new department. His impending absence strains his ... See full summary »

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Stars: Carlo Cabrini, Anna Canzi
Certificate: GP Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Gabriele Ferzetti
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A populist right-wing tabloid newspaper tries to derail the official police investigation of a brutal murder of a young girl in order to help the fascist and right-wing candidates it supports in the upcoming elections.

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Gian Maria Volonté, Fabio Garriba, Carla Tatò
Without Pity (1948)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Carla Del Poggio, John Kitzmiller, Giulietta Masina
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Paolo Graziosi, Stefano Satta Flores
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Four student nurses cope with life and career problems while interning at a major hospital.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Florence Rice, Una Merkel, Ann Rutherford


Cast overview:
Marino Masé ...
Liliana Gerace ...
Pier Luigi Troglio ...
Jeannie McNeil ...
Irene Agnelli ...
Celestina Bellocchio ...
Ragazza alla festa
Stefania Troglio ...
Gianni Schicchi ...
Alfredo Filippazzi ...
Gianfranco Cella ...
Ragazzo alla festa
Lella Bertante
Sandra Bergamini
Mauro Martini ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fist in His Pocket  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The house, the film's main location, is the house director Marco Bellocchio spent his childhood days in. See more »


When the whole family is having dinner, Augusto is seated at one corner of the table and the mother is sitting on a side at the other corner. The cat is shown to be eating meat off the mother's plate in one scene, but in the next scene Augusto is shown picking up the cat as if was right next to him on the table. Once he removes the cat, the next camera angle again shows Augusto and the mother at opposite ends. See more »


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


Featured in The Eyes, the Mouth (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

60 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Strange feelings Toxor_Axiom
Music in the final scene acephalica
R-rated? downrightindie
Where exactly was this films location? thurman43
Review! TrafficjamsandTea
Film's Interpretations matt72582
Discuss Fists in the Pocket (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: