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

 |  Drama, History  |  1 June 1979 (USA)
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Reviews: 33 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 overview, first billed only:
Luigi Ornaghi ...
Francesca Moriggi ...
Omar Brignoli ...
Antonio Ferrari ...
Teresa Brescianini ...
Widow Runk
Giuseppe Brignoli ...
Carlo Rota ...
Pasqualina Brolis ...
Massimo Fratus ...
Francesca Villa ...
Maria Grazia Caroli ...
Battista Trevaini ...
Il Finard
Giuseppina Langalelli ...
La Moglie Finarda
Lorenzo Pedroni ...
Il nonno Finard
Felice Cervi ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | money | farm | year 1898 | piper | See All (254) »


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.


Drama | History


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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


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


Featured in Splendor (1989) See more »


Komm, süßer Tod, komm, sel'ge Ruh!, BWV 478
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Fernando Germani
See more »

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User Reviews

Sacramental epic.
4 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If there were any reason for dropping out of normal life and dedicating oneself entirely to watching Italian films, this might be it! The majestic simplicity and dignity of this film make even the best contemporary films seem trivial and stillborn by comparison. Loved by sensitive audiences and critics alike, Ermanno Olmi's movie describes incidents in the lives of four families sharecropping in Lombardy at the coming of the twentieth century. Olmi's extraordinary command of imagery, movement, rhythm, and lighting conveys a potent nostalgia for Earth and the family of man. There is a scene in which images of a father carving clogs for his shoeless boy are intercut with the lives of the farm families. The music accompanying that scene is a Bach organ chorale. The effect is almost sacramental and entirely overwhelming and may be one of my favorite scenes in all cinema. That scene alone is worth more than all the digitalized special effects, car crashes, ocean liner sinkings, and the deafening Dolby vapidity of so much of the inane junk embraced undiscriminatingly by so many. If they only had the eyes to see, ears to hear, and the soul to love this wondrous work of art!

The most authentic version on this film has the original Bergamasco dialect track. The newer DVDs from Italy have the option of choosing this soundtrack.

21 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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