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Marcellino (1991)

5.9
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In the 15th century, in a poor Italian village, the monks of a modest convent take up an abandoned baby. Unfortunately, for all their efforts, they prove unable to trace his parents. So ... See full summary »

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Title: Marcellino (1991)

Marcellino (1991) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Didier Bénureau ...
Frate Ilario
Sergio Bini Bustric ...
Frate Giocondo
Alberto Cracco ...
Frate Eusebio
Fernando Fernán Gómez ...
Ernesto Lama ...
Thierry Nenez ...
Lucio Romero ...
Frate Filippo
Francesco Scali ...
Frate Girolamo
Francesco Siciliano ...
Il pittore
Yves Verhoeven ...
Frate Teodoro
Roberto Herlitzka ...
Il precettore
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ...
Alfredo Landa ...
Ida Di Benedetto ...
La contessa
Nicolò Paolucci ...
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Storyline

In the 15th century, in a poor Italian village, the monks of a modest convent take up an abandoned baby. Unfortunately, for all their efforts, they prove unable to trace his parents. So they set up providing tender loving care to the little boy. Marcellino lives a happy life among the men of God but, as he grows up, he misses his mother more and more. To compensate for her absence, he tends to identify her with the Virgin Mary. One day, the local lord, in search of a child to raise, decides to adopt Marcellino and to bring him up in his castle. He dresses him in rich attire and gives him a strict education. But Marcellino feels miserable there and eventually runs away.Back in his dear convent, he gleefully resumes his former life. He still misses his mother but his life changes when he finds a crucifix in the attic. A wonderful friendship between Jesus and him is born. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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Release Date:

19 December 1991 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Miracle of Marcellino  »

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Remake of Marcelino pan y vino (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Little Orphan Boy and His Dearest Friend
7 September 2008 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

In the mid 1950s, a Hungarian/Spanish director Ladislao Vajda made a movie that still touches the hearts of many viewers around the world. The story of the little boy Marcellino who lost his mother and became a pure, simple but devoted friend of Crucified Jesus appears to be unreal for many, perhaps; yet much in need for lots of people who cherish simplicity and spirituality in art that cinema is.

However, the black and white Spanish classic has occurred dated to be shown to kids and, in the early 1990s, the Italian director Luigi Comencini remade it. As comparison does not work due to two individual interpretations of the directors, I do not aim at saying which version is better and why. In my comment, I would like to concentrate on some strong points of this remake since the general impression of yours after seeing the film will surely be "a decent drama."

Firstly, since this is the story of a little boy, the film is accurately addressed to children and youngsters. The "in media res" beginning that shows us the group of young tourists who visit the monastery where Marcellino lived gives us a clue to "universality" of a short but beautiful life. These kids, in a sense, are struck by the simplicity of the events, by the uniqueness of the place. The flowers placed by a little girl resemble gratitude. This clear address to youngsters is also proved by very fine scenes some of which I would like to highlight. Consider, for instance, the witty moments with disappearing slices of bread or Marcellino trying to make friend with a spoiled boy from count's palace. I also loved the scene when people see little baby Marcellino in the stable on Christmas night. Although the story is pretty sad, these childlike moments make it a perfect movie for kids and young people.

Secondly, the whole movie gives us a nice insight into the monastic life, its sacrifice, its piety, its prayer, work and brotherly love. That is what we experience, what we get to know with little Marcellino from the memorable moment of his baptism to the final moment of his parting. This piety and simplicity of the life it shows is intensely combined with the entire spirit of the movie. Music, atmosphere, some moments, including the "burning" of the monastery lead us to a specific but profound world of humble brothers. At the same time, it gives us an accurate interpretation of the times developed.

Thirdly, the film conveys the precious message I have mentioned in many of my other comments on various spiritual movies. It is a film we are in need in our times, a film that, despite its lack of fun, gives us joy; despite its lack of realism, gives us faith; despite its lack of great celebrities, gives us authenticity. Like it was the case with the 1955 movie, you watch this story of a little, unnoticed Marcellino and you cry with him and laugh with him. So to say, a viewer young or old feels like a pure, unexperienced, honest child.

Here, a profound reflection arises: what really makes us feel young. People attempt at looking young but what happens inside is a different story. This film appears to give the answer...simplicity of heart similarly to Marcellino. The most touching scene in this movie, for me, was when Marcellino talks to Crucified Jesus and gives him bread. But, before seeing it, try to put aside all sense of spiritual gravity, all sense of earthly logic. Try to see it with an unexperienced "childish" heart and you will see that this is a film about a boy and the dearest Friend anyone can ever have. See it, show it to kids, try to be overwhelmed by the miraculous spirit it promotes.

No great performances, no stunning cinematography, just a movie, just a story but...what a story!


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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