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Three Brothers (1981)
"Tre fratelli" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 March 1981 (Italy)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 738 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

Three men face their mother's death.



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Title: Three Brothers (1981)

Three Brothers (1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Raffaele Giuranna
Nicola Giuranna
Vittorio Mezzogiorno ...
Rocco Giuranna / Young Donato
Andréa Ferréol ...
Raffaele's Wife
Maddalena Crippa ...
Rosaria Tafuri ...
Marta Zoffoli ...
Tino Schirinzi ...
Raffaeles's Friend
Young Donato's Wife
Pietro Biondi ...
1st Judge
Charles Vanel ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

19 March 1981 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Tre fratelli  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the French post-synchronized version, the Italian actors are dubbed by: Bernard Murat (Michele Placido), François Marthouret (Vittorio Mezzogiorno); Stefanie Kent (Marta Zoffoli); Perrette Pradier (Maddalena Crippa) and Véronique Chobaz (Rosaria Tafuri). See more »


Referenced in Baarìa (2009) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Beautiful and wise but not recommended for those who don't enjoy thinking :-)
31 March 2004 | by (Zürich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

In the seventies, Italian judges ran the risk of being murdered. (These days, they are liberally berated by Signore Berlusconi, which I suppose is a change for the better.) The conflicts that ran through Italian society at the time are vividly reflected in "Tre Fratelli". The plot briefly reunites three brothers of quite different ages at their mother's death-bed. The oldest is a judge fighting terrorism, the youngest an industrial union member fighting for better work conditions. The third has dedicated his life to teaching difficult boys, and pleads for peace when his brothers start airing their views at each other and bickering over the use of violence in politics.

All three are idealists with lots of ideas. Although Rosi is interested in these ideas to a degree which immature viewers may find taxing, he emphasizes the emptiness of ideas alone. At one point the judge gets to say: some of us want to become as rich as they can, some of us want to change everything, both sides want to do it ASAP, and both have a terrible contempt for human life. On a more private note, none of the brothers has an unequivocally happy marriage. The judge's wife fears he will be killed and is constantly pleading with him to refuse dangerous cases; the youngest brother leaves his temperamental wife when she has one affair to his dozens; the teacher fears the intimacy of a committed relationship, and has remained celibate.

The ancient widower, in harmony with the picturesque countryside he lives in, is a contrast to his sons' torments. Even his memories of his wife are as good as it gets. Each of the characters has a dream episode; his is the only one that is neither unhappy nor utopian. He tells his city-bred granddaughter about her grandmother, about animals and stars, and the two reach an understanding deeper than that of the "grown-ups". Is it only women who place survival above politics? Is it only the very young and the very old who are wise enough not to take human affairs too seriously?

"Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call the day his own; he who, secure within, can say: Tomorrow, do thy worst! For I have lived today."

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I'm sure Sergio Castellitto was in this movie. lucasarts
The Italy portayed in this film jfca283
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