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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.

Writers:

Pier Paolo Pasolini (story), Pier Paolo Pasolini (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

An off-beat comedy about serious matters by PIER PAOLO PASOLINI. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

10 December 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hawks and the Sparrows See more »

Filming Locations:

Assisi, Perugia, Umbria, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arco Film 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

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

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Funerale
Composed by Ennio Morricone
See more »

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User Reviews

Comedy That Thinks
1 August 2001 | by eibon09See all my reviews

Confusing but fascinating motion picture about the experiences of a father and son. A Felliniesque story with the two main characters experiencing anything strange or surreal tht comes their way. Maybe influenced from the work Pasolini did with Fellini on Nights of Cabiria(1957) and La Dolce Vita(1960). Has many areas in it that is characteristic of a Federico Fellini film. Even the father reminds me of some characters from a Fellini picture. The direction is simple as well as subtle. Uccellacci E Uccellini/Hawks & Sparrows(1965) is Pasolini's lightest and most gentle picture of his filmography. Light years away from the controversial and nilistic sections of his later films. An uncharacteristic film for Pier Paolo Pasolini because of its cheerful and clownish nature. The comedy in Hawks and Sparrows(1965) is in the tradition of such silent greats as Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd. Complex film that probably should be seen more than once to attempt at getting a clear meaning of its allegoric nature.

Hawks and Sparrows(1965) gets some good acting from the leads Toto and Ninetto Davoli. On casting people for Pasolini's film he remarked("I use both actors and non-actors, and I am not interested in their ability. I take them for what they are") with an interesting line. This quote from Pasolini is important in the casting of Hawks and Sparrows(1965) because of his personal perference of non actors over actors. The first film I have seen with the actor Toto. Ninetto Davoli does a decent job for a person who never acted before in his life. The rest of the actors are good in the segments they are in. The director liked using non actors because he wanted a natural and unconscious style that could not be possible with a pro actor. Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of the best and most rare type of movie makers to inhibit is cinema with mostly non actors. Each episode is funny and yet intellegent. Pasolini conveys the character of Toto as someone who is unaware of life around him. Filled with the usual political beliefs Pasolini was into.

The opening credits are creative and very unusual. They are played over the screen in the form of a prose. I only wish that more films would use this kind of opening credits instead of the usual opening credits because its more interesting here. The director's intention was to make a film that was pure prose and in the tradition of Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin. Hawks and Sparrows(1965) does retain the elements of the tragic comedy with the themes of class and poverty. Ennio Morricone plays one of his best film scores in a non Leone film. Pasolini and Morricone did some good work together as director and film composer. Shows how good Pasolini was at in using simple images to push forward a themematic idea. The bird that follows the father and son represents something that is the total opposite of the two. Visual poetry at its finest and and most beautiful. One scene that has recently resurfaced during the late 1980s was an unreleased episode called "Toto At The Circus".


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