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Macaroni (1985)
"Maccheroni" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  24 October 1985 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 421 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

A businessman from the United States returns to Italy for the first time in four decades only to discover that an old girlfriend of his, along with her brother, have involved him in a massive hoax.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Macaroni (1985)

Macaroni (1985) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Jasiello
Daria Nicolodi ...
Laura Di Falco
Isa Danieli ...
Carmelina Jasiello
Maria Luisa Santella ...
Door Keeper
Patrizia Sacchi ...
Bruno Esposito ...
Giulio Jasiello
Orsetta Gregoretti ...
Young actress in theater
Marc Berman ...
French record producer
Jean-François Perrier ...
French record producer
Giovanna Sanfilippo ...
Fabio Tenore ...
Pasqualino (the little monk)
Marta Bifano ...
Aldo De Martino ...
Cottone (theater manager)
Tilde De Spirito ...
The villain's mistress (as Clotilde De Spirito)


Robert Traven, a dyspeptic, edgy American businessman, arrives in Naples and is received by a friendly but officious local company representative. Exhausted by the pressures and inconveniences of a long flight, he is looking forward to rest and relaxation in his hotel room when he is visited by buoyant and upbeat Antonio Jassiello, a clerk in a bank record room, who is surprised when his old friend from the War does not recognize him. The annoyed and exhausted Traven feels he's being scammed, and the two part on bad terms. Jassiello does leave a photo of Traven and his sister taken 40 years earlier, and the time and the setting seen to stir the American's memory, so he seeks out Antonio to apologize. Jassiello brings him back home to renew acquaintances with his family including his now middle-aged, married sister, Her hospitable husband is friendly and not the least bit jealous, and Traven soon discovers why he has not faded from their memories as they have from his. Antonio has been... Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

24 October 1985 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Macaroni  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


SEK 3,159,783 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mastroianni had a cute film biz anecdote about this movie, noting that while promoting it in Manhattan he was having dinner at a posh Italian restaurant and the waiter - shaving a truffle over his pasta, motioned to Mastroianni whether he should continue and Marcello nodded yes, repeating "Paramount, Paramount" (the company was picking up the check). See more »


Antonio: Ah, it's beautiful to waste time.
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Pasta Anyone?
8 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pasta, as the staple food of all Italian households, serves as the symbol of that which sustains us physically. And life long relationships is what defines each and every one of us. In this respect, watching Mastroianni as Antonio and Lemmon as Robert is like watching two master painters at work creating a human landscape spanning decades.

In Antonio, Mastroianni reveals a man of integrity, caring, love and a sense of what makes us all human. Juxtaposed in Robert, Lemmon initially shows us a tired, bitter and disconnected man who no longer sees the real beauty in life. One cannot find two more opposite men at their respective stages in life. But it is here that the audience enters into their world or re-discovery.

As always, Jack Lemmon inhabits the soul of his character (Robert) while portraying the angst felt by a man in deep internal turmoil. But being the great actor Lemmon always displayed, he does not leave us with this one dimensional view of Robert. Rather Lemmon takes us, as the film progresses, on a journey into his re-discovery of a time in his life when happiness was real, taken for granted and lost. And in that realization, Lemmon gives us the real bitterness of his character. Having once loved Antonio's sister during his days in the Army while stationed in Italy, Robert knew, perhaps for the only time in his life, real joy and kinship with others.

Mastroianni gives a masterful performance of a dedicated bank employee who while he is not rich monetarily is rich in the knowledge of the love and respect he enjoys from family and friends. When Robert returns to Italy on a business trip in the present day, Antonio becomes overjoyed with the thought of rekindling the friendship he once shared with Robert. Mastroianni plays, with youthful enthusiasm, his excitement in seeing his 'old friend' Robert again. Antonio, in his simple way, has never lost sight of the true wealth of life. It is in this simplicity that Robert finds, at first, exasperation and then regret.

But watching these two masters of cinema go to work with their characters is liking watching a sculptor taking a lump of stone and turning it into a recognizable form. Lemmon and Mastroianni take the basis of their characters and give a master class in blending the two diverse characters. It is in this blending that both Antonio and Robert learn the real lesson in life - people's lives may change but their core does not. In the end, Antonio is aided by Robert who understands the importance of taking swift action to save Antonio's son who has gotten involved with some unsavory characters. Antonio comes to realize that his friend never stopped caring for him, he was just side tracked by his life in America. For Robert, he has once again felt that exhilaration that we can all know if we allow ourselves. And that is the exhilaration of unconditional, ever present love by friends and family which is the basis of all human relationships.

The final scene of the film is very fitting as we see Robert and Antonio's family sitting at the family dinner table being served pasta. The two staples of life are joined here just as Robert and Antonio were once again.

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