7.6/10
4,482
32 user 36 critic

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (original title)
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shoeshine (1946)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Rinaldo Smordoni, Franco Interlenghi, Annielo Mele
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Stories about three very different women and the men they attract.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Aldo Giuffrè
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The rich man Domenico and Filumena, a penniless prostitute, share great part of their lives in the immediate post WWII Italy.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Aldo Puglisi
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An old woman finds a baby among the cauliflowers in her garden. She takes care of the orphan, and calls him Totò. When she dies, he is sent to an orphanage, which he leaves as a teenager. ... See full summary »

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Emma Gramatica, Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa
Two Women (1960)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the Italy of WWII, a widow and her lonely daughter seek for distance between them and the horrors of war.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Raf Vallone
Sunflower (1970)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An Italian woman conducts a desperate search for her husband, a soldier considered missing in action in Russia - like fifty thousand others during WWII.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Lyudmila Saveleva
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Emilio Cigoli, Luciano De Ambrosis, Isa Pola
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A women lives a miserable life in the basement of her Milan apartment, with her boring inlaws and three children (boys). Her husband has been injured. Her bleak life takes an unexpected ... See full summary »

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Florinda Bolkan, Renato Salvatori, Daniel Quenaud
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.

Director: Elio Petri
Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio
Umberto D. (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari
The Boom (1963)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the economic boom of Italy a man tries desperately to maintain a high standard of living for his family.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Gianna Maria Canale, Ettore Geri
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Nino Manfredi, Mariangela Melato, Anna Maria Aragona
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lino Capolicchio ...
Giorgio
...
Micòl Finzi Contini
...
Bruno Malnate
Romolo Valli ...
Giorgio's Father
...
Alberto
Camillo Cesarei ...
Micol's Father
Inna Alexeievna ...
Micol's Grandmother (as Inna Alexeieff)
Katina Morisani ...
Micol's Mother
...
Giorgio's Mother (as Barbara Leonard Pilavin)
Michael Berger
Ettore Geri
Raffaele Curi ...
Ernesto
Gianpaolo Duregon
Marcella Gentile
Cinzia Bruno ...
Young Micol
Edit

Storyline

In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather a circle of friends for constant rounds of tennis and parties at their villa with its lovely grounds, keeping the rest of the world at bay. Into the circle steps Giorgio, a Jew from the middle class who falls in love with Micol. She seems to toy with him, and even makes love to one of his friends while she knows Giorgio is watching. While his love cannot seem to break through to her to draw her out of her garden idyll, the forces of politics close in. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | friend | politics | jew | jewish | See All (197) »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$112,105 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

$596,694 (USA) (10 January 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of composer Bill Conti's first assignments was writing the film's score with Manuel de Sica, although only Sica received credit. See more »

Quotes

Giorgio's Father: In life, in order to understand, to really understand the world, you must die at least once. So it's better to die young, when there's still time left to recover and live again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Voyage to Italy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Vivere
Written by Cesare A. Bixio (uncredited)
Performed by Tito Schipa
Per concessione della EMI Italiana S.p.A.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Reversed
2 February 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

De Sica is celebrated as the man who brought "neo-realism" to film, one of the three or four philosophies that still vie as motivation for the film enterprise. It is the notion that though film necessarily artificializes, it is possible to start with truth and deliberately enhance it cinematic ally. Because he relied on class struggle, viewers mistakenly associate that with the essence of neo-realism.

His early work is much celebrated, but as he aged and added layers and nuance, his relatively simpleminded audience was lost. Here we have a later masterpiece, not generally regarded as such.

The basic story is of two Jewish families, the impeding brutality of fellow Italians and different approaches to life and love in the knowing face of doom. At that level, it has some charm and power.

But what he has done is to invert all the values and superimpose them on the originals. Its a common technique in writing, and found of course in the novel.

We have the obvious: a relatively small garden within which the inhabitants blithely create an artificial world while the real world grinds down upon them. The garden is in Europe, but it is also Europe.

As I say, That's obvious. Also common (far too common) is the placement of sexual mechanics in political mechanics as if one explains the other while they cause each other. Ho Hum.

But there are three other elements, and these I appreciate. While he is reversing things and overlaying them, he casts accordingly. The European fiction was that Jews were dark, earthy people. Hairy, monetary, shrewd, animal. Yet the actors who play the Jews are according to cinematic conventions of Aryans: light haired, light skinned, svelte. Their manner is similarly cinematic (and the Nazi/fascist movement was inherently cinematic): completely unconcerned about money and politics and instead concerned about poetry and idleness. Roles reversed: we know this for certain when the (Jewish) girl tells her (non-Jewish) suitor he is not her type; too communist and too hairy.

There's another, explicit inversion: the thing is a movie, but the anchor of reality within it is, well, movies. Three times. Plus our hero goes from Passover at his house where the family is singing something vapid to the Finzi-Continis where they are doing something movie-like" looking into a glass to see the future.

Third: we know this is not straight-on narrative, because the camera has a habit of drifting out of the narrative frame. Kar-Wai is the current master of this and for the same reason.

Naturally, underlying it all is that this is not the work of fascists or Nazis, but of Italians and Germans. Not few, but many, essentially all. Because of that one thing, I find this more powerful than "Schindler's List." Sure, his people were more demonstrably evil, but so are all his villains in his fakey worlds. It doesn't make it real if he shows real history in the same theatrical way. No, for real evil we have to see how ordinary it is.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


22 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A question... phoenixphan
Jazz music jeanserge21
Italian poster of the film, anyone? sfarman5601
discrepancy in runtime kaream
Pictures or TV footage of my father Gianni Hecht Lucari winning Oscar hecht-4
dvd copy hertzie
Discuss The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?