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Three Brothers (1981)

Tre fratelli (original title)
PG | | Drama | 19 March 1981 (Italy)
Three men face their mother's death.

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Writers:

(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rocco Giuranna / Young Donato
...
Raffaele's Wife
Maddalena Crippa ...
Giovanna
Rosaria Tafuri ...
Rosaria
Marta Zoffoli ...
Marta
Tino Schirinzi ...
Raffaeles's Friend
...
Young Donato's Wife
Pietro Biondi ...
1st Judge
...
Donato Giuranna
Accursio Di Leo ...
1st Friend at Bar
Luigi Infantino ...
2nd Friend at Bar
Girolamo Marzano ...
Nicola's Friend
Gina Pontrelli ...
The Brother's Mother
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Storyline

In a farmhouse in southern Italy, an old woman dies. Her husband summons their sons: from Rome, Raffaele, a judge facing a political case for which he risks assassination; from Naples, the religious and ideological Rocco, a counselor at a correctional institute for boys; from Turin, Nicola, a factory worker involved in labor disputes. Once home, each encounters the past and engages in reveries of what may come: Raffaele imagines his death, Rocco dreams of lifting the youth of Naples out of violence, drugs, and corruption, Nicola pictures embracing his estranged wife. Meanwhile, the old man and his young granddaughter explore the rhythms of the farm and grieve together. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 March 1981 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Three Brothers  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected as the opening film at the 34th Cannes Film Festival in 1981 (out of competition). See more »

Quotes

Nicola Giuranna: You talk like this because you don't have a boss who can fire you.
Raffaele Giuranna: I have to accept the risk of getting killed any day if I wanna keep doing my work, which is to administrate law, and not to become a hero.
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Connections

Featured in Il cineasta e il labirinto (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Je so' pazzo
by Pino Daniele
Edizioni musicali "BELRIVER" s.r.l.
per gentile concessione della EMI ITALIANA
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User Reviews

Italy, past and present, through the eyes of lyric poet.
10 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THREE BROTHERS narrows with ease the gulf between two creative approaches in Italian cinema: the drama of social observation and the poetry of lyric force. That any film-maker would be able to look at the problems of a modern industrial society with the sensitivity of a poet or a painter is a wonder in itself. That director Francesco Rosi succeeds so eloquently is doubly wondrous. But then this is the gifted creator of CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI and ILLUSTRIOUS CORPSES. The three brothers have returned to their southern home village after the death of their mother. The film begins with the magnified sounds of heartbeats on the soundtrack against the bleak images of a huge building with dark, knocked-out windows. When the credits end we are shown a hideous cluster of rats in close-up. It is the disturbing nightmare we have shared with the middle of three brothers, a worker in a boys' reformatory in Naples. Frustrated by his battle to keep kids off drugs and away from crime, he is the self-giving liberal who is losing the fight. The younger brother is a Turin factory worker, embittered about his working conditions and victim of a failing marriage. The eldest son is a sedate magistrate in a Roman court who is handling a case involving terrorists and who constantly fears for his own life. He also looks upon his radicalized younger brother as a threat, one of the potential terrorists he is struggling against. The Puglia village to which the brothers return is an impoverished place from which they have long escaped and for which each professes a hopeless nostalgic attachment. Much of the movie delves into the varying anxieties of the brothers at a moment of intense introspection. Their aging patriarch father, on the other hand, is a man of great dignity, calm, and simple religious fervor, an emblem of what modern society has lost. He reflects a diminishing and changing past that can never be regained. It is a past that the old man's little granddaughter, with her childlike fascination for the little pleasures of country life, becomes fond of. There is bond between the two that is one of the most touching elements of this film. In a way she is a continuation of her own dead grandmother's attachment to the simple joys of life. The film says that while the sons have gained something in the amenities of urban civilization, they have lost something as well, something vital and profound. They have lost their home, their roots, their traditional values. They lie on children's cots now too small for them. They are overgrown children in cribs, and their uneasy reflections take on the bitterness of regret. They had departed from here for the best of reasons and once gone, as the youngest brother explains, they became immediately homesick. What is in THREE BROTHERS? Very little, if you count. There is a death, a brief return to a hometown, a few memories and flashbacks, some jarring evocations, a child playing, a burial, a beautiful final image. Indeed, nothing much happens. And yet it is as though everything happens. From its poetic tableau-like portrait of life, death, homesickness, there emerges a tapestry of modern society, perhaps even modern man in general, that is as violently graphic as it is lovingly gentle. It is a work of art.


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