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The Return of Don Camillo (1953)

Le retour de Don Camillo (original title)
Energetic priest Don Camillo returns to the town of Brescello for more political and personal duels with Communist mayor Peppone.


Julien Duvivier


Giovanni Guareschi (freely adapted from the story by), Julien Duvivier (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernandel ... Don Camillo
Gino Cervi ... Giuseppe 'Peppone' Bottazzi
Arturo Bragaglia Arturo Bragaglia ... Il cantoniere
Édouard Delmont ... Il dottor Spiletti
Alexandre Rignault ... Franceso 'Nero' Gallini
Saro Urzì ... Brusco - il barbiere
Thomy Bourdelle ... Cagnola
Claudy Chapeland Claudy Chapeland ... Beppo Bottazzi
Leda Gloria Leda Gloria ... Signora Bottazzi
Tony Jacquot Tony Jacquot ... Don Pietro
Lia Di Leo ... La maestrina
Marco Tulli Marco Tulli ... Lo Smilzo
Enzo Staiola ... Mario Cagnola
Miranda Campa Miranda Campa ... Signora Spiletti
Charles Vissières Charles Vissières ... Il vescovo (as Charles Vissière)


After his battles with the communist mayor Peppone, Don Camillo is sent in exile by his bishop in a remote village. Peppone thought he got the village in his hands. But when the municipality decide to build a dike against the periodic floods, the proprietor of the land refuses. War between the village clans is about to begin. Maybe only the strong hand of the priest could persuade the landlord to change his mind. Will Peppone passed over his pride and send for his enemy? Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

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Fernandel! est unique...Magnifique...TERRIFIQUE...in the hilarious ALL NEW adventure of that impudent, impish, impossibly droll character... See more »




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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa #14698 dating from 12 July 1953. See more »


Pay close attention to Don Camillo's hand with the glass of castor oil in the "Castor Oil" scene. He pours what is clearly a viscous, oily liquid into the glass. Before drinking however, his hand drops out of view and when he puts the glass to his mouth the liquid is all of a sudden clear water. Apparently drinking the castor oil for real was one step too far. See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions of the film were shot: one in Italian, one in French. See more »


Followed by Don Camillo monsignore... ma non troppo (1961) See more »

User Reviews

So much to do, don Camillo !
25 December 2006 | by nablaquadroSee all my reviews

Very good episode, like all the others to be honest, but this one stands out for a deep and strong message, religious and not.

In the first part, the forced retreat of don Camillo is a very intense piece of cinema. His personal "via crucis" up to the mountain, his dialogue with God (the conscience's speech ?) teach to us the real value of a redemption. Camillo's exile, thank God will last little time (Peppone knows anything ?), full of energies to fight again. For the glorious bell Gertrude fallen by the belfry, the tragic Po's flood, a singular battle of the clocks, the barbaric life in the boarding-schools and the last fascists' ardors.

Everybody having at least 60 years in Italy remembers the big Po river's flood (my parents told me plenty about it) in early 50s. These kind of movies are able to maintain living the records of both happy and tragic events that marked our history through the following generations. An epoch desperately needful of a common identity (and then the politics!) but basically already related with the simple, daily things.

Fernandel and Gino Cervi couldn't be more terrific in their roles. Like Fernandel was a perfect don Camillo, Gino Cervi was either a perfect Peppone, or Maigret in the french TV-series taken by Simenon's novels. Two underrated actors that inaugurated a prolific age of Italy/France co-productions.

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France | Italy



Release Date:

26 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of Don Camillo See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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