IMDb > Many Wars Ago (1970)

Many Wars Ago (1970) More at IMDbPro »Uomini contro (original title)

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Overview

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Release Date:
17 September 1970 (Italy) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
On the Italian/Austrian front during World War I, a disastrous Italian attack upon the Austrian positions leads to a mutiny among the decimated Italian troops. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Impassioned but occasionally heavy-handed and not always convincing See more (5 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Mark Frechette ... Lt. Sassu
Alain Cuny ... Gen. Leone

Gian Maria Volonté ... Lt. Ottolenghi
Giampiero Albertini ... Capt. Abbati

Pier Paolo Capponi ... Lt. Santini
Franco Graziosi ... Maj. Malchiodi
Mario Feliciani ... Colonel Doctor
Alberto Mastino ... Marrasi
Brunetto Del Vita ... Col. Stringari
Nino Vingelli ... Wounded Soldier from Naples
Zdravko Smojver
Antonio Pavan ... Lt. Pavan
Emilio Bonucci
Francesco Acampora
Luigi Pignatelli ... Avellini
Spartaco Conversi
Maurizio Mastino
Daria Nicolodi ... Nurse

Bruno Pischiutta (as Mario Pischiutta)
Gianni Pulone ... Wounded Soldier from Rome
Franca Sciutto
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stavros Tornes
William Conroy ... Austrian Soldier (uncredited)
Francesco D'Adda ... Assistant of Colonel Doctor (uncredited)

Directed by
Francesco Rosi 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Tonino Guerra 
Raffaele La Capria 
Emilio Lussu  novel
Francesco Rosi 

Produced by
Marina Cicogna .... producer
Luciano Perugia .... producer
Francesco Rosi .... producer
 
Original Music by
Piero Piccioni 
 
Cinematography by
Pasqualino De Santis 
 
Film Editing by
Ruggero Mastroianni 
 
Production Design by
Andrea Crisanti 
 
Set Decoration by
Ezio Di Monte 
 
Costume Design by
Franco Carretti 
Gabriella Pescucci 
 
Makeup Department
Massimo De Rossi .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Donko Buljan .... production manager
Paolo De Andreis .... production manager
Carlo Lastricati .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marco Guarnascheli .... assistant director
Svetislav Pavlovic .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Tihomir Piletic .... property master
 
Sound Department
Italo Cameracanna .... foley artist
Italo Cameracanna .... sound effects editor
Vittorio Massi .... sound
Erik Molnar .... sound
Mario Morigi .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Zdravko Smojver .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Josip Akcic .... assistant camera
Francesco Brescini .... electrician
Mario Cimini .... camera operator
Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci .... assistant camera (as Gianni Fiore)
Marcello Mastrogirolamo .... assistant camera
Alberto Pizzi .... still photographer
 
Editorial Department
Lea Mazzocchi .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Luigi Urbini .... conductor (as Pierluigi Urbini)
 
Other crew
Gianna Di Michele .... administrator (as Giovanna Di Michele)
Franca Invernizzi .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Uomini contro" - Italy (original title)
"Men Against..." - International (English title) (literal English title)
See more »
Runtime:
Germany:97 min | Italy:101 min | USA:100 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
Certification:

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FAQ

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Impassioned but occasionally heavy-handed and not always convincing, 27 April 2014
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

It's not so surprising that there are so few films about the Italian experience of World War One. The government was initially uncertain which side to take until the Allies offered the best deal in 1915 while their conduct of it was a literal bloody farce, with incompetent generals driving their men to mutiny and desertion in a succession of bloody defeats they blamed on those who followed their orders: even Mussolini couldn't spin an uplifting war movie out of that. Francesco Rossi's Many Wars Ago aka Uomini Contro/Against Men catalogues many of the outrages the officers committed on their men, making no bones that they were more of an enemy than the Germans, but its director's outrage only sporadically translates to the viewer. Part of the reason is it's a sometimes-schizophrenic film, shot with considerable resources but not always convincing, especially when the Yugoslavia extras die like schoolboys playing cowboys and Indians or when characters start shouting about class enemies in the middle of battle. Rosi is at his best when he's just observing the humourless absurdity, much of it wrought by Alain Cuny's monolithic general who'll gladly shoot an innocent man to serve as an example and seems more determined to kill his own men than the Germans – so much so that the latter even beg the Italians to retreat because they're tired of killing them so easily.

Yet with so few clearly defined characters it's hard to get involved in any human drama, reducing the dead almost to abstract mathematical equations – the one in ten of the regimental decimations – rather than lives lost. Some of the vignettes work, such as a tribunal deciding which wounded men in hospital to send to courts martial for self-inflicted wounds regardless of evidence, men sent into No Man's Land with useless armour looking like robots as they're picked off or a tense and ironic scene with a loophole and a sniper, but others are laid on with too heavy a hand, be it a mass execution with an overwrought operatic choir on the soundtrack to cajole you into feeling the appropriate outrage or one character being executed explicitly because he doesn't love war. It's a film of occasionally effective and well staged moments amid the misfires, but all too often it seems to have almost as little interest in the men who suffer as Cuny's defiantly indestructible general does.

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