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Padre Padrone (1977)

Padre padrone (original title)
The true story of the life of Gavino Ledda, the son of a Sardinian shepherd, and how he managed to escape his harsh, almost barbaric existence by slowly educating himself, despite violent ... See full summary »


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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Omero Antonutti ...
Saverio Marconi ...
Marcella Michelangeli ...
Young Gavino
Marino Cenna ...
Young shepherd
Stanko Molnar ...
Pierluigi Alvau
Giuseppino Angioni
Fabio Angioni
Giuseppe Brandino
Mario Cheri
Giuseppe Chessa Perle
Domenico Deriu
Marina D'Onofrio


The true story of the life of Gavino Ledda, the son of a Sardinian shepherd, and how he managed to escape his harsh, almost barbaric existence by slowly educating himself, despite violent opposition from his brutal father. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

2 September 1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

My Father My Master  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[last lines]
Father: Don't laugh at Gavino. Hands on your desks! Today is Gavino's turn. Tomorrow will be yours.
See more »


Featured in Filmstunde: Filmstunde 2 (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

superior simultaneously gutwrenching and funny look at Sardinian rural life
7 August 2003 | by (los angeles, ca.) – See all my reviews

Despite the other good comments here, I was really shocked at the number of others who put in their two cents who hated this movie. I saw it in a theater shortly after its original release, then several times on video in the late eighties. I hadn't watched it again until a couple of nights ago, mainly as a reaction to seeing some of the imbecilic remarks here. It's scary because after seeing the film again I realize that Hollywood has alot to answer for in manufacturing twisted junkfood audience expectatations with their atrociously slick homogenization of already shallow stories, push button audience emotion manipulation... oh, well, you get the idea. People fed a constant diet of McDonalds don't recognize a good steak when they bite into one.

PADRE PADRONE integrates nearly documentary footage seamlessly with a very realistic, often funny, often poignant but never manipulative depiction of what it's like to grow up the first born son of a nearly impoverished Sardinian shepherd. The beatings the boy receives from his tyrannical father are convincingly shown but in such a way that, especially if you've ever been on a set or involved in filmmaking, you can see that the punches and slaps could be easily pulled without the audience knowing it. The boy's struggle as he grows into a man to express himself and learn how to read and write, no matter how fierce his father's opposition, is truly inspiring because it is so matter-of-fact, so intense but without a shred of the narrative tricks (such as treacly music cues) that Hollywood would pull to needlessly manipulate cheap audience emotion.

There's one scene right near the end just before the young man leaves home again for the final time where he has to go to retrieve the family suitcase from under his parents' bed. His angry, powerless dad sits on the edge as his son gropes under him for the suitcase. The two have already come to blows and life-threatening words. Suddenly the young man sinks his head against his father's leg in a brief second of weary contradictory affection. His father instinctively moves his hand to, at first, comfort the boy. But before his fingers can even touch his son's hair he is possessed by temper and raises his hand to strike him instead. However, we don't see if he strikes him or not because the Tavianis cut to black then we next see the son leaving town, going on to his destiny as a linguist and bestselling writer. This simple scene is one of the most unbearably moving in any film from the last thirty years and indicative of the general excellence of the entire movie. The Taviani brothers have made many other good films from ALLONSANFAN with Marcello Mastroianni, through this, through NIGHT OF SHOOTING STARS and the excellent, 3 hour long anthology of stories by Pirandello, KAOS.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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