Bombolini is a fairly worthless drunk in the small Italian town of Santa Vittoria in the closing days of World War II. When word comes that the Fascist government has surrendered, he climbs a water tower to tear down the flag. He can't get down and someone gets the crowd to chant his name to give him confidence. The Fascist town council hears this and believes that he is the town's new leader. They surrender to him and make him the new mayor. He rises to the occasion and when he finds that the Germans plan to occupy his town and take their wine (over a million bottles) he works out a plan to hide it. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the beginning there was Bombolini the fool, Bombolini the drunk, Bombolini the joke. In the end there was Bombolini the mayor, Bombolini the hero, Bombolini the beautiful. In between is the secret of Santa Vittoria.
Set constructions for this movie by the film's art department in the Italian township of Anticoli Corrado included just a few constructions. Producer-director Stanley Kramer said of this in his autobiography "A Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World: A Life in Hollywood": "Architecturally, the contours and dimensions of the square and the adjoining streets, made me settle on this town. The art department added a bell tower, one single facade, and a water tower for one particularly funny (and it turned out, dangerous) scene". See more »
[the Fascist members of the Santa Vittoria town council are being held prisoner in the church bell tower. The priest brings them a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine]
It's criminal! You keep us locked up! We don't get enough food! You tell us nothing! There's not even a toilet!
Next time, vote Communist!
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Town idiot becomes mayor, Germans invade ... wine at risk
In short there is no other move quite like it. One of those that you might not think to rent, but if you find yourself at the beginning of it, you'll not leave until you see the ending. Quinn is excellent.
The nutshell is that The Germans are coming, and the town has lost all of its older boys and men to the Italian army. They're a wine-producing town, and elect the town-fool to be the "mock mayor". The problem is that they need to hide the wine from the Germans, being their only real treasure. From that premise forward, the movie becomes dark and deeply compelling. I believe that these are some of the best performances of the star-studded actors...
I recommend it, as one of life's "must see's".
(PS: I'm a tough critic, so an "8" for me is just about tops)
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