7.5/10
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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Innocenti Totò / Brother Cicillo
... 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

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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  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 14th February 1988, actress Laura Betti introduced a reconstructed version of the film at the Berlin Film Festival. That version contained a short episode with Totò called "Toto al circo", which was not included in the original release. Although director Pier Paolo Pasolini had spoken about his work on it, this episode had never been shown to the public before. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Wie de Waarheid Zegt Moet Dood (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Uccellacci E Uccellini (Titoli Di Coda)
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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User Reviews

 
The art of not talking too seriously about serious matters:
28 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

"Uccellacci e uccellini" aka "The Hawks and the Sparrows" (1964) - directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

This is a movie that begins like no other introducing the cast and the crew in the manner that is charming, original, melodious and promising of even better things to follow. The fun begins actually with its Italian title, "Uccellacci e uccellini". I don't know about you but the sound of the title simply makes me smile, it sounds like the birds themselves whispered or chirped it to the Pasolini's ear. It is possible to make a satirical philosophical fable concerned with the serious and even grave matters as religion, social and political systems and the order of things and at the same time highly enjoyable, often hilarious, sometimes sorrowful, always original, in one word -Pasolinesque. "Uccellacci e uccellini" talks about desires, death, the meaning of life, Christianity, and Marxism but first and foremost, it entertains. It is about a father (Italian clown Toto) and his young and naive son (Nino Davoli) whom Pasolini sends to the endless cyclical journey on the road of life where they soon will be joined by a talking crow, will be catapulted 750 years back in time and by the request of ST.Francis, they would become two saints (Toto with his clown's face makes a great saint) who would teach the birds (the hawks and the sparrows) the word of God, in the birds' language, of course. The birds seem to agree and accept the words of love but as we know the love comes and goes but everyone (including birds) has to eat and the hunger does not help to improve the understanding between the hawks and the sparrows and between the humans and the crows, even the talking crows. Some were born to kill and to eat the others and there is not much could be changed about it. Two men will be magically returned back to the present time, will go to funeral, will see the baby born, will meet a beautiful desirable girl named Luna who reminds them how divine the fresh hay smells and how much fun it is to make love in it... Their journey would end where it began and on and on and on they go around the world in circles turning. As for the talking crows, "Takers and fakers and talkers won't tell you. Teachers and preachers will just buy and sell you. When no one can tempt you with heaven or hell- You'll be a lucky man!"


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