7.5/10
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23 user 34 critic

The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966)

Uccellacci e uccellini (original title)
Innocenti Totò and his son Innocenti Ninetto are drifting on a road in Italy, when they meet a Marxist speaking crow. The trio travels together in a long journey as their hunger increases.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Innocenti Ninetto / Brother Ninetto (as Davoli Ninetto)
...
Luna
Umberto Bevilacqua ...
Incensurato
Renato Capogna ...
Scoundrels Leader
Alfredo Leggi
Pietro Davoli ...
Scoundrel
Renato Montalbano
Rosina Moroni ...
Poor Cottage Owner
Flaminia Siciliano ...
Scoundrel
Lena Lin Solaro ...
Urganda
Gabriele Baldini ...
Dante's Dentist
Giovanni Tarallo ...
Starving Peasant
Ricardo Redi ...
Mansion Owner
...
Ciro Lococo
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Storyline

This richly symbolic film is really impossible to understand without some knowledge of 20th Century Italian history, and particularly the power of the Roman Catholic Church. The Lateran Treaty of 1929 finally politically separated Italy from Church power by creating the Vatican as a sovereign state. But the trade off was the that the Church was still left in power over many aspects of everyday Italian life. For instance, Italy finally established a civilian divorce law through a bitterly contested 1970 referendum. Before then, divorce was under strictly in the domain of Church law, and the Church NEVER granted a divorce, even in extreme cases like when a spouse was abandoned many years hence. Overall, however, the power of the Church still resided in the blind allegiance of Italians at all levels to Church morality. Over decades, this led to impeding Italy's social and political progress, and greatly maintained the status quo in the division between the privileged upper class and the ... Written by Joe Kulik

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The surprise comedy hit of the New York Film Festival See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 December 1969 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Hawks and the Sparrows  »

Filming Locations:

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film's opening credits are not only displayed on screen but also comically sung in Italian to a jaunty Ennio Morricone score, with a memorably droll rhyming of the film title with the director's full name. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are performed as a song. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Un lugar en el cine (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Corvo Professore
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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User Reviews

 
The Birds according to Pasolini
18 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

A picaresque approach by a master of the Italian cinema resulted in this personal and different film by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The director, who wrote and produced this picture, was in great form in this story that is more like a fable, deliciously acted by Toto and Ninetto Davoli, one of the best pairings in Pasolini's movies.

The film is, in many aspects, a road movie. From the beginning, we watch as Toto and Ninetto take to the road in their trip to nowhere, it seems, but a trip which permits Pasolini examine some of the things that obsessed him, mainly his dislike for organized religion, as he perceived it in his country, as it clashed with reality. He takes the life of Saint Francis and the story about his relationship with the birds as the main topic for the movie.

It's hard to add anything else to what already has been said by the valuable contributions to IMDb. This film is one of the most inspired by the director. In it, he doesn't pound on the viewer's head those things that were dear to him. In fact, the film has a whimsical touch as we follow the two travelers, Toto and Ninetto, through rural Italy as a raven keeps telling them stories.

Toto is perfect as the older man who is living in his own world and doesn't see the changes around him. Ninetto Davoli gives a great performance as the happy go lucky son. Their surname, is Innocenti, or Innocent, which in a way, fits their characters rather well.

The black and white cinematography by Mario Bernardo and Tonino Delli Colli works wonders for the film. Ennio Morricone's musical score also enhances all that one sees on the screen. This is a light Passolini, but one that delves deep into the subjects that were so dear to the director's heart.


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