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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.
For the film's four month shoot in the little Italian village of Anticoli Corrado, a number of the town's residents worked on the film in varying capacities as assistant crew or as extras and background artists. Some stayed on and lived in their houses whilst others took paid holidays in exchange for the use of their homes during principal photography. See more »
It's nice to have a hot meal before you die.
You aren't going to die.
I'm the mayor, no? The Germans come. I greet them. They threaten me! I spit in their face! They put a pistol to my head and blow out my brains!
Why would they put a pistol to your head? The whole world knows Bombolini's brains are in his ass.
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This one deserves more than the 2 1/2 stars given it by Maltin. A superb combination of earthy humor and wartime intrigue, it gives us the triumph of human resourcefulness and peasant wiliness in the face of overpowering might. I like Anthony Quinn as Bombolini much more so than as Zorba. Anna Magnani as the long-suffering wife of Bombolini is magnificent. It is true that the love story subplot between the Sergio Franchi and Virna Lisi characters is a tad wearying, but it is not enough to detract from the overall success of the film. The true heros of the story, of course, are the Italian peasantry, as represented by the citizens of Anticoli Corrado, the central Italian village not far from Rome where the film was shot. As Babbaluche says, finally: "I've been an anarchist all my life, although I've never been sure what it means, except that nothing means anything. But if anything does mean anything, it's this stinking town."
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