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Misunderstood (1967)
"Incompreso (Vita col figlio)" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  26 January 1967 (Italy)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 560 users  
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Andrew's brave front convinces his father that he is unaffected by his mother's death. Playmate and protector of his little brother Miles, he is often blamed when mischief goes wrong. Only ... See full summary »



(as Leo Benvenuti) , , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Sir John Edward Duncombe
Stefano Colagrande ...
Andrew Duncombe
Simone Giannozzi ...
Miles Duncombe
John Sharp ...
Uncle William 'Will'
Adriana Facchetti ...
Anna Maria Nardini ...
Little girl in movie theater
Silla Bettini ...
Judo teacher
Rino Benini ...
Miss Judy
Graziella Granata ...


Andrew's brave front convinces his father that he is unaffected by his mother's death. Playmate and protector of his little brother Miles, he is often blamed when mischief goes wrong. Only when tragedy strikes does his father recognize Andrew's true qualities. Written by Cleo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The needs of a child are often misunderstood.




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Release Date:

26 January 1967 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El incomprendido  »

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Version of Misunderstood (1984) See more »


Written by Giuseppe Verdi
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User Reviews

Harrowing,extremely beautiful.
28 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Childhood is in the center of Comencini's work."Incompreso"sees him going at a peak of true emotion and aesthetic refinement.Comencini is one of the greatest directors Italy has ever known even if he remains in the shadow for so many cine buffs.If you have the chance to see "incompreso" do not miss his other works "lo scopone scientifico" "Pinocchio" ,the best version of the Collodi classic and his mammoth series "Cuore" ,these two works dealing with childhood too,not to mention such achievements as "Casanova veneziano" (which beat Fellini at his own game)and "l'ingorgo"

"Incompreso" is one of the saddest movies in the world and however,it's not a melodrama:it's pure emotion,realism,quivering sensitivity . A man's -a consul- wife dies and he 's left on his own with his two children.He's a good father,but he wants his older son to become adult ,to act like a man .Anthony Quayle's portrayal is not that of a tough man; it's only little by little,in spite of his good will,that he leads his son whom he loves to despair.Some people say that you become a man when you lose one of your parents,after all!In many a melodrama,we have heard the mother say after the father's death "now you're the man".Comencini's work is the contrary:for him ,even if a child shows more perceptiveness than the grown-ups (see "lo scopone scientifico" or "cuore"),he still remains a child who should be allowed to suffer ,to cry and to love.Because the father thinks that a big boy does not need tenderness anymore and he takes only the little brother in his arms.

The mother is still here even if the boy does not see her anymore:there's a painting in the house ,a tape which the father recorded before her death and mainly a big garden where the two brothers speak of intimate things like death .All the nannies (are you like Mary Poppins? asks the younger boy) in the world that the wealthy dad can pay cannot help:that's why they stay out of the game (and out of the games):never the boys will communicate with them.

The first part of the film tends to show that Milo,the little kid ,is the frail one;an admirable sequence,taking place during a storm at night,shows the father taking his little boy to his room...but closing his door to the other.

SPOILERS:Because his father does not seem to understand him,to love him,to treat him like a ...child,the only way for him is to go where his mother is.Then begins a harrowing finale,during which the father understands (but too late) that his son wanted to die ,even if the accident had not happened.The essay which the boy wrote "my best friend,my father", climaxes the movie .the last picture is an extraordinary fade -in(the mother's picture) fade-out (the dead boy in his bed).These final pictures alone would make the movie a masterpiece.

Superb cinematography ,remarkable cast and credits over paintings of another century,first-class score which enhances the emotions but never drowns them out.

Absurd remake by Jerry Schatzberg in 1984 ("misunderstood") with Gene Hackman taking on the part of the father and colossal mistakes (flashback where the mother appears ,hollywoodian happy end).These remakes are really a curse.

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