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The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966)

Uccellacci e uccellini (original title)
Innocenti Totò and his son Innocenti Ninetto are drifting on a road in Italy, when they meet a Marxist speaking crow. The trio travels together in a long journey as their hunger increases.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Innocenti Ninetto / Brother Ninetto (as Davoli Ninetto)
Umberto Bevilacqua ...
Renato Capogna ...
Scoundrels Leader
Alfredo Leggi
Pietro Davoli ...
Renato Montalbano
Rosina Moroni ...
Poor Cottage Owner
Flaminia Siciliano ...
Lena Lin Solaro ...
Gabriele Baldini ...
Dante's Dentist
Giovanni Tarallo ...
Starving Peasant
Ricardo Redi ...
Mansion Owner
Ciro Lococo


This richly symbolic film is really impossible to understand without some knowledge of 20th Century Italian history, and particularly the power of the Roman Catholic Church. The Lateran Treaty of 1929 finally politically separated Italy from Church power by creating the Vatican as a sovereign state. But the trade off was the that the Church was still left in power over many aspects of everyday Italian life. For instance, Italy finally established a civilian divorce law through a bitterly contested 1970 referendum. Before then, divorce was under strictly in the domain of Church law, and the Church NEVER granted a divorce, even in extreme cases like when a spouse was abandoned many years hence. Overall, however, the power of the Church still resided in the blind allegiance of Italians at all levels to Church morality. Over decades, this led to impeding Italy's social and political progress, and greatly maintained the status quo in the division between the privileged upper class and the ... Written by Joe Kulik

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An off-beat comedy about serious matters by PIER PAOLO PASOLINI. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 December 1969 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Hawks and the Sparrows  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


On 14th February 1988, actress Laura Betti introduced a reconstructed version of the film at the Berlin Film Festival. That version contained a short episode with Totò called "Toto al circo", which was not included in the original release. Although director Pier Paolo Pasolini had spoken about his work on it, this episode had never been shown to the public before. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are performed as a song. See more »


Referenced in Un lugar en el cine (2008) See more »


Teatrino All'Aperto 1
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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User Reviews

You've never seen anything like this!
14 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

How does one describe a film like this? Imagine a Bunuel film like THE MILKY WAY. A couple of men walking on an empty road. They're on a strange journey only their destination is the beginning of their journey (huh?) and the two men are as funny as the best cinema clowns in screen history. Somewhat Felliniesque, somewhat Chaplinesque, throw in a little De Sica and even a dash of Monty Python and you can begin to have some idea of what this incredible blend of absurd and hilarious satire is like. Unlike Bunuel's films, this film is joyous. It has heart, passion, and an imagination springing somewhere from the soul. The film takes its stabs at religion, academics, and government but it does it in a playful way that leaves one feeling rejuevenated instead of that sour feeling that one feels after watching most social satires. It's hard to believe that this is a Pasolini film. It's about as far on the spectrum from SALO that one can get, yet it's sad that in comparison this film is almost completely unknown.

This is definitley worth seeking out on video. I'm hoping that I can find a soundtrack recording for this. It is one of the best Ennio Morricone scores I've heard, which is saying a great deal!

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