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Fists in the Pocket (1965)

I pugni in tasca (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 May 1968 (USA)
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
Jeannie McNeil Jeannie McNeil ... Lucia
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
Edit

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:

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

When the whole family is having dinner, Augusto is seated at one corner of the table and the mother is sitting on a side at the other corner. The cat is shown to be eating meat off the mother's plate in one scene, but in the next scene Augusto is shown picking up the cat as if was right next to him on the table. Once he removes the cat, the next camera angle again shows Augusto and the mother at opposite ends. 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

 
A masterpiece!
21 November 2000 | by Maciste_BrotherSee all my reviews

The first time I saw Fists in the Pocket, I was 7 or 8 years old and I thought the film was a horror movie because of its gruesome subject matter. It had freaked me a lot then. Today, after viewing it for the first time in its entirety, and though I don't think the film can be considered to be an all and out horror flick, I still think there's enough gruesome and eerie qualities to this drama to call it an authentic neo-horror film. A horror film with intelligence. Unlike Hitchcock (no, I'm not saying his films aren't intelligent) or the plethora of other less subtle horror films, where the horror or terror is mostly obvious and played for thrills to manipulate an audience, in Fists the disturbing aspects aren't played out for thrills. They're there to show the sad situation in which the characters exist. Because of this, the film has a true morbid atmosphere, quasi-Gothic in nature, that permeates it from beginning to end. The characters inability to see the horrifying things they do or think (for most part of the narrative) makes this film absolutely unique in film history. It's a vivid "intimate" portrait of a dysfunctional family that's almost a cerebral horror film.

Simply put, it's brilliant!

The actors are all excellent but Lou Castel's performance as the frustrated, crazed, death obsessed brother is mesmerizing. You can't take your eyes off him. And even though it was made in 1965, the film feels contemporary, mainly because of its refusal to amplify and exploit it shocking aspects or the characters' foibles to heights of schlock or melodrama. Plus, the fluid direction gives this morbid drama (which could have easily been heavy and static) a deceptively "normal" quality which works perfectly and adds even more to all of the characters' sad state of mind. The film is equally claustrophobic and expansive; claustrophobic with the (very) tight interiors and the family drama that (like one of the characters of the film wants to do) makes you want to break free and escape at all cost; and expansive because of the Italian countryside that surrounds these doomed characters. The scenery, natural and man-made, is a character of its own, seemingly symbolizing the characters precipitous existence but also overwhelmingly vast, stark and crushing, dwarfing the already tightly-knit family down to minuscule size, which then heightens their already claustrophobic existence that much more. Ennio Morricone's score is characteristically moody & chilling and complements the film perfectly.

Fists in the Pocket is a very earthy, grounded, morbid & blunt portrait of a doomed family! A must-see for those who love "pure" cinema.


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