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The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
"L'albero degli zoccoli" (original title)

 -  Drama | History  -  1 June 1979 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 2,934 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 23 critic

The life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luigi Ornaghi ...
Batistì
Francesca Moriggi ...
Batistina
Omar Brignoli ...
Minec
Antonio Ferrari ...
Tuni
Teresa Brescianini ...
Widow Runk
Giuseppe Brignoli ...
Anselmo
Carlo Rota ...
Peppino
Pasqualina Brolis ...
Teresina
Massimo Fratus ...
Pierino
Francesca Villa ...
Annetta
Maria Grazia Caroli ...
Bettina
Battista Trevaini ...
Il Finard
Giuseppina Langalelli ...
La Moglie Finarda
Lorenzo Pedroni ...
Il nonno Finard
Felice Cervi ...
Uslì
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Storyline

The life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of make him help them, although this represents a great sacrifice. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy other. What can they do? Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | money | farm | year 1898 | piper | See All (255) »

Taglines:

Once in a generation, a work of art appears as if by magic, to move and inspire its audience. A work that returns to a exhausted humanity the possibility of simple grandeur. We invite you to visit a time and place when life was still a sacred matter. When the family of man was still - a family.

Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

1 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tree of Wooden Clogs  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Al Pacino's favorite movies of all time. See more »

Goofs

When the children are making music with pots and pans, the 'instruments' of the little girl are switching from one hand to the other when the camera looks at her from the other side. See more »

Crazy Credits

Quite strangely, the names of the actors are listed as "last name first name", while the names of the rest of the crew are correctly listed as "first name last name". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in L'albero delle zoccole (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Fugue in G Minor
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Heard as a theme at the start
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Greats
24 January 2001 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Very rarely, films transcend their medium and break through into some other dimension. These are not merely technically superb films with fine cinematography and wonderful performances. Rather, something else has been addressed; at the risk of seeming pompous, I'd call it "what it means to be human." Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about. After the film is over, you walk out into the world and your life has changed in some fundamental way. You actually experience colors and shapes and smells afresh, as though you've re-emerged into a different universe.

I can think of several films that have had that effect on me. Eric Rohmer's "Summer (Le Rayon Vert)" and Kieslowski's "Decalogue" spring to mind. But "Tree of Wooden Clogs" approached the core. I'm not Catholic, would pronounce myself an atheist if that didn't suggest the arrogance of certainty, but this movie comes as close to touching the soul as any I've ever seen. It is one of the most shattering, delightful, and profound works of art ever created. After first seeing it, I sat in my car, clutched the steering wheel, and sobbed for half an hour.

Since that day, many years ago, moments from it continue to haunt me. I'll be walking down a street lined with trees and remember the boy walking home from school. Out of the blue, the looks on the faces of the just-married young couple as they adopt a child will come to me. And, of course, the image of the villagers watching the lone wagon disappear into the darkness is one which will live with me until I die.

In short, as I stumble my own way through life, this film is one of the touchstones that reminds me why I'm here.


42 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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