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The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)

During WWII in Italy, a wine producing village hide a million bottles from the Germans



(novel), | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. von Prum
Sergio Franchi ...
Renato Rascel ...
Patrizia Valturri ...
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Gigi Ballista ...
Padre Polenta
Quinto Parmeggiani ...
Carlo Caprioli ...
Giovanni Pietrosanto
Francesco Mulé ...
Wolfgang Jansen ...
Sgt. Zopf


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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wine | bottle | mayor | italy | city hall | See All (22) »


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.


Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 February 1970 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Santa Vittoria  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The phrase "Santa Vittoria" means "Saint Victoria" and the town of "Santa Vittoria" is named after this Catholic Saint. Due to the Saracen invasions, her relics were sent from the Piceno to Mount Matenano (which is near the town of Santa Vittora) in 827 by Abbot Peter of Farfa. See more »


When Tufa the deserter, meets Caterina after being released by the Germans, Caterina places the bread knife parallel to the side of the cutting board. Next shot, the knife is away from the cutting board with the blade pointing away from the cutting board. See more »


Priest: [Bombolini wants the priest to pray for the rain to stop while the villagers move the wine] Nobody ever prays for sun, they only pray for rain.
Babbaluche: In Noah's ark people prayed for rain?
Priest: That was before organised religion.
Babbaluche: Sure, all they had was God, the poor bastards.
See more »


The Song of Santa Vittoria (Stay)
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Sergio Franchi
See more »

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User Reviews

A Well Kept Secret
13 June 2005 | by (minneapolis, minnesota, on the planet Earth) – See all my reviews

I read "The Secret Of Santa Vittoria" about ten years ago and I thought it would make a good movie. It turned out that Stanley Kramer had the same idea back in 1968. The movie is a bit uneven, but I thought there were some good moments. The film did a good job of showing the people of the town hiding the wine in the old cave. Their exhaustive work indicated how important and vital the wine was to the town. Anthony Quinn may have been a bit too broad in certain scenes. Also, there's something in his screen persona that indicates a forceful personality that seems to contradict the clownishness of his character. I liked Hardy Kruger and thought there was a little more to his character than the usual one dimensional evil Nazi seen in a million other World War II films. Apparently Anna Magnani really didn't care much for Quinn. In the scene where she repeatedly kicked him she broke her foot. The real town of Santa Vittoria was not chosen as the location because it was too modern in appearance by 1968, so the the beautiful and atmospheric town of Anticoli Corrado was chosen as the location.

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