15 user 2 critic

Italiani brava gente (1964)

Chronicle of the unheralded and unsuccessful invasion of the Soviet Union by the Italian army during World War II.


Giuseppe De Santis
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Kennedy ... Ferro Maria Ferri
Zhanna Prokhorenko ... Katya
Raffaele Pisu ... Gabrielli
Tatyana Samoylova ... Sonya
Andrea Checchi ... Sermonti
Riccardo Cucciolla ... Sanna
Valeri Somov ... Giuliani
Peter Falk ... Medic Captain
Nino Vingelli ... Amalfitano
Lev Prygunov ... Bazzocchi
Grigory Mikhaylov ... Russian Partisan (as Grigorij Mikhailov)
Ivan Paramonov ... German Deserter (as I. Paramonov)
Gino Pernice ... Collidi
Boris Kozhukhov ... Major
Vincenzo Polizzi ... Sicilian


During the summer of 1941, Germany and its European allies invade the Soviet Union. Fascist Italy participates at the invasion. The first trains carrying Italian soldiers arrive in the Soviet Union during grain-harvest season. The Soviet Army withdrew during the initial German onslaught that spearheaded the invasion. The newly arrived Italian soldiers wonder at the size of the Soviet countryside that seems to never end. The soldiers also notice the Soviets withdrew so fast that many fields have not been harvested yet. Fields of wheat, sunflower and corn glow golden under the bright summer sun. The Italians attempt to make friends with the Soviet civilians whom they meet at various stopping points along the way. But the civilians are scared of the invaders and rightfully so. The German troops have already passed through, terrorizing the Soviet populace. The Italian soldiers even try to share their bread rations with the civilians and they try to cheer the Russians up by singing a ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were damned by fate and dogged by a deadly foe !


Drama | History | War


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Italy | Soviet Union


Italian | Russian | German | Spanish

Release Date:

16 September 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Italiani brava gente See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Russian tanks featured in the film are T-34/85's, which were not produced until early 1944, a full a year after the events in this film took place. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version ran 155 minutes. See more »


Edited from The Victors and the Vanquished (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent movie, memorable 30 years after seeing it
28 October 1998 | by Wombat-15See all my reviews

Saw this movie only once, in the late 60's. I still remember it quite clearly. A close-up, unflinching look at the horror and futility of war. The endless, bleak Russian steppes, the shattered cities, the ice-bound winter landscapes, all combine to show how hopeless the German invasion was.

The winter retreat is one of the most frightening and depressing scenes in the movie, but it is just one of several. The film follows several characters through the war in interwoven threads, and each one is memorable.

I am eager to see this on video.

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