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Fists in the Pocket (1965)

I pugni in tasca (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 May 1968 (USA)
Trailer
1:42 | Trailer
A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions.

Director:

Marco Bellocchio
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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Castel ... Alessandro
Paola Pitagora ... Giulia
Marino Masé ... Augusto
Liliana Gerace Liliana Gerace ... Madre
Pier Luigi Troglio Pier Luigi Troglio ... Leone (as Pierluigi Troglio)
Jeannie McNeil Jeannie McNeil ... Lucia (as Jenny Mac Neil)
Irene Agnelli Irene Agnelli ... Bruna
Sandra Bergamini Sandra Bergamini
Celestina Bellocchio Celestina Bellocchio ... Ragazza alla festa
Lella Bertante Lella Bertante
Stefania Troglio Stefania Troglio ... Cameriera
Gianni Schicchi Gianni Schicchi ... Tonino
Mauro Martini Mauro Martini ... Ragazzo
Tino Molinari Tino Molinari
Gianfranco Cella Gianfranco Cella ... Ragazzo alla festa
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Storyline

Alessandro, a young epileptic with paranoid inclinations, decides to relieve Augusto, the only sound brother, from the burden of a numerous family plagued with hereditary diseases. After a first aborted attempt, the dreadful series of accidents/murders is started by pushing the blind mother into a ravine. Then comes the turn of Leone, the idiotic brother. Will Alessandro be able to bring to completion his obsessive project ? Written by Stefano Cristiani <cristiani@astrpd.pd.astro.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Latin | Italian

Release Date:

27 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fist in His Pocket See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Doria See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house, the film's main location, is the house director Marco Bellocchio spent his childhood days in. See more »

Goofs

During the final scene when Alesandro is having an attack, you can see the camera shadow several times; for instance on the bed. See more »

Quotes

Alessandro: I'm a volcano of ideas.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happy New Year (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dark and wonderful
15 October 2015 | by mikeburdickSee all my reviews

The Sixties was a time of breaking rules and exploring social themes and political ideas that weren't allowed to be expressed in the repressive Fifties. It was a Golden Era of Italian cinema, producing Antonioni's, Visconti's and Fellini's best films, along with so many gems like Olmi's "Il Posto", Germi's "Divorce: Italian Style" and Monicelli's "The Organiser." "Fists in the Pocket" stands out for its dark subject matter, which examines the mind of a sociopath.

While this was not new ground—Clouzot's "Diabolique", Clement's "Purple Noon", Powell's "Peeping Tom" and Hitchcock's more lurid "Psycho" allowed us into the head of a killer—"Fists in the Pocket" portrays a much more nuanced character. What those films don't spend a lot of time on is the motivation behind their characters' actions, outside of their own amoral nature or perhaps some hinted trauma. In this film, while we certainly don't sympathise with the characters' actions, we clearly understand their motivations.

The protagonist of the film is Sandro, but I'd argue that the main character is the family, since it's the family dynamic that drives all action in the film. Sandro and two of his three siblings have varying degrees of epilepsy, and all three grown children live with and care for their blind mother. There's a definite sense of claustrophobia and dread in this family, who all seem trapped by their own love for each other. Their desire to break free of their mother's control and the burden of caring for each other leads to plans being hatched and tragic consequences.

It's quite an oddball story, almost Lynchian, but what makes the characters so utterly believable is the unpredictability of their behaviour, along with some excellent acting, particularly by Lou Castel, who allows us to see into his mind without saying a word. Add to that a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and absolutely sublime photography—it's one of those rare films where you can frame almost every shot—and you've got one of the standout films from a standout period of filmmaking.


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