IMDb > The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
Il giardino dei Finzi Contini
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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) More at IMDbPro »Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (original title)

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis -- Open-ended Trailer from Columbia Tri-star

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   4,093 votes »
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Up 40% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
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View company contact information for The Garden of the Finzi-Continis on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Imperfect, but unforgettable See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Lino Capolicchio ... Giorgio

Dominique Sanda ... Micòl Finzi Contini

Fabio Testi ... Bruno Malnate
Romolo Valli ... Giorgio's Father

Helmut Berger ... Alberto
Camillo Cesarei ... Micol's Father
Inna Alexeievna ... Micol's Grandmother (as Inna Alexeieff)
Katina Morisani ... Micol's Mother

Barbara Pilavin ... Giorgio's Mother (as Barbara Leonard Pilavin)
Michael Berger
Ettore Geri
Raffaele Curi ... Ernesto
Gianpaolo Duregon
Marcella Gentile
Cinzia Bruno ... Young Micol
Alessandro D'Alatri ... Young Giorgio
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Camillo Angelini-Rota ... Prof. Ermanno Finzi-Contini
Enzo Nigro ... Agente OVRA
Eugene Pomeroy

Joshua Sinclair (as Gianni Loffredo)
Katina Viglietti ... Olga Finzi-Contini
Martin Bormann ... Himself - Behind Hitler on Balcony (archive footage) (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself - Hitler Is Germany Speech (archive footage) (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself - Acknowledges Hess (archive footage) (uncredited)
Benito Mussolini ... Himself - Watches Parade (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julius Streicher ... Himself - Sits Beside Hitler, Partially Visible (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Vittorio De Sica 
 
Writing credits
Giorgio Bassani (novel)

Vittorio Bonicelli  &
Ugo Pirro 

Franco Brusati  uncredited
Vittorio De Sica  uncredited
Alain Katz  uncredited
Tullio Pinelli  uncredited
Cesare Zavattini  uncredited
Valerio Zurlini  uncredited

Produced by
Artur Brauner .... producer (as CCC FIlmkunst - Berlino)
Arthur Cohn .... producer: Documento Film
Gianni Hecht Lucari .... producer
Fausto Saraceni .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Manuel De Sica 
 
Cinematography by
Ennio Guarnieri (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Adriana Novelli 
 
Casting by
Jose Villaverde 
 
Production Design by
Giancarlo Bartolini Salimbeni 
 
Set Decoration by
Roberto Granieri 
 
Costume Design by
Giancarlo Bartolini Salimbeni 
 
Makeup Department
Anna Cristofani .... hair stylist
Giulio Natalucci .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Romano Dandi .... production manager
Enzo Nigro .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Giorgio Treves .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Franco D'Andria .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Franco Bassi .... sound mixer
Stefano Di Fiore .... restored version
Max Galinsky .... sound
Massimo Loffredi .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Enrico Catalucci .... special effects: S. P. E. S. (as E. Catalucci)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Giancarlo Ferrando .... camera operator
Michele Picciaredda .... assistant camera
Giorgio Urbinelli .... assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Antonio Randaccio .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Eli Haviv .... editor: english version
Marisa Letti .... assistant editor
Carla Zamponi .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Carlo Savina .... conductor
 
Other crew
Luisa Alessandri .... assistant to director
Noelle Gillmor .... subtitler: English
Franca Invernizzi .... production secretary (as Franca Santi)
Susan Jacobs .... publicist
Mario Milani .... script editor
Claudio Saraceni .... production accountant
Roberto Del Giudice .... voice dubbing: Helmut Berger (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il giardino dei Finzi Contini" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
94 min
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was a personal triumph for 'Vittorio de Sica', a director who had struggled to have a hit since Marriage Italian Style (1964).See more »
Quotes:
Micol:You and I are not normal people. For the two of us, what counts more than the possession of things - how shall I put it - is the remembrance of things, the memory of things.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in My Voyage to Italy (2001)See more »
Soundtrack:
VivereSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
39 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
Imperfect, but unforgettable, 12 May 2001
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States

In this haunting work by Vittoria De Sica an aristocratic Italian-Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, serve as a symbol of European civilization in the hands of the brown shirts on the eve of World War II. Seeing it again after thirty years I find myself saddened almost as much by the story of a stillborn, unrequited love as I am by the horror of the cattle cars to come.

Dominique Sanda with her large, soft eyes is mesmerizing as the beautiful, enigmatic, but icy Micol Finzi-Contini. Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio) is her childhood friend, a boy from a middle-class Jewish family, now grown up. He's in love with her, but her feelings for him are that of a sister. He is confused by her warmth, and then as he tries to get close, her cool rejection. It has often been expressed metaphorically that Europe in the thirties was raped by fascism. However in this extremely disturbing film, De Sica is saying that it wasn't a rape, that the aristocracy of Europe (here represented by the Finzi-Continis of Ferrara, and in particular by the young and beautiful Micol) was a willing, even an eager, participant in the bestial conjoining.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is far from perfect; some would say it is also far from De Sica's best work. Certainly it comes after his prime. The editing is a little too severe in places, while some of the scenes are too loosely focused. Nonetheless this is an enormously powerful film that finds its climax in one of the most disturbing scenes in all of cinema. There is little point in discussing this film without looking at this scene. Consequently, for those of you who have not seen the film and do not want to risk having it spoiled for you, you should stop reading now and come back afterwards.

Everything in the movie works toward setting up the cabana scene. We see the dog several times, hinting at a crude, animalistic side to Micol. And there is the wall that separates the Finzi-Contini's garden of civilization from the brown shirts in the streets, a wall that also separates the rich from other people, particularly from the middle class who support the fascists (as we are told in the opening scene). We see Micol leading Giorgio by the hand about the estate, but always when he tries to caress her, she pulls away. Finally she explains to him why she doesn't love him. She says, "lovers want to overwhelm each other...[but]...we are as alike as two drops of water...how could we overwhelm and want to tear each other...it would be like making love with a brother..." But hearing these words is not enough. Giorgio goes to the wall one last time, sees a red bicycle there (red and black were the colors of the Nazi party) and knows that Micol is with someone else. He climbs the wall and finds the dog outside the cabana so that he knows she is within. In the opening scene she referred to the cabana with the German "Hütte," adding that now "we'll all have to learn German." What he sees when he looks through the window fills him with a kind of stupefying horror, as it does us. Not a word is spoken. He sees her, he sees who she is with and what the circumstances are. She sees him, turns on the light so that there can be no mistake and they stare wordlessly at one another. She projects not shame, but a sense of "This is who I am. I would say I'm sorry, but it wouldn't change anything. This is what I'm drawn to."

What is expressed in this essentially symbolic scene, acted out in sexual terms, is what happened to Europe. Micol is at once the love he wanted so much, deflowered by an anonymous, but clearly fascist man, and she is also the aristocracy of Europe, polluted by fascism.

I wonder if it is just a coincidence that the famous poem by Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess," is also set in Ferrara. In that poem the narrator reveals himself through the unfeeling brutality of his speech and actions to be, although an aristocrat, an incipient fascist. I also wonder if De Sica is saying that the Jews in some sense contributed to the horror that befell them, and by extension, all of humanity. We see this expressed in the person of Giorgio's father who continually insists that it's not that bad yet, as step by step they lose their status as citizens, a prelude to the dehumanization that is the precursor of genocide. Certainly the closing scenes in which the Jews of Italy are seen to be compliant as they are led to the slaughter suggests as much. I know that the central feeling expressed by Jews after the war and especially in Israel was simply, never again. Nevertheless, there is a certain sense of the inevitable about this film that I find particularly disturbing. Passivity in sexual terms, a "giving in" to one's nature is one thing. A passivity in political terms is quite another, and yet it is part of the power of this film to show us how they are related in our psyches.

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