7.7/10
2,166
9 user 14 critic

Lulu the Tool (1971)

La classe operaia va in paradiso (original title)
A conscientious factory worker gets his finger cut off by a machine. Although the physical handicap is not serious, the accident causes him to become more involved in political and revolutionary groups.

Director:

Elio Petri

Writers:

Elio Petri (story & screenplay), Ugo Pirro (story & screenplay)
Reviews
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gian Maria Volontè ... Lulù Massa
Mariangela Melato ... Lidia
Gino Pernice ... Sindacalista
Luigi Diberti ... Bassi
Donato Castellaneta Donato Castellaneta ... Marx
Giuseppe Fortis Giuseppe Fortis ... Valli
Corrado Solari Corrado Solari ... Mena
Flavio Bucci ... Factory Worker
Luigi Uzzo Luigi Uzzo
Giovanni Bignamini Giovanni Bignamini
Ezio Marano Ezio Marano ... Timekeeper
Adriano Amidei Migliano Adriano Amidei Migliano ... Technician
Antonio Mangano Antonio Mangano
Lorenzo Magnolia Lorenzo Magnolia ... Magnolia
Federico Scrobogna Federico Scrobogna ... Arturo
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Storyline

Lulù is a real hard worker. For this reason he is loved by the masters and hated by his own colleagues. The unions decide agitations against the masters. Lulù doesn't agree till he cuts, by accident, one of his own fingers. Now, after he understood the worker's conditions, he agrees the unions and participates to the strike. He immediately is fired and, not only is abandoned by his lover, but also by the other workers. But the fights of the unions allow him under a new legislation to be hired again. At this point his mind starts giving collapse signs... Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

17 September 1971 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Lulu the Tool See more »

Filming Locations:

Novara, Piedmont, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Second part of the "Trilogy of Neurosis" also including Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970) and La proprietà non è più un furto (1973). See more »

Quotes

Lulù Massa: I supported the task-work. Followed the politics of the union. I worked for productivity and I was working, and keeping with the production. And now I transformed myself into a beast, a beast, a real beast! And the students say we are like machines... they say that I'm a machine, a pulley, a screw, a piston rod, a transmission belt, they say that I'm a pump, a broken pump and there's no way to repair that pump. I suggest to stop working right now. All. And who does not stop to work right now is...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mother and the Whore (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Working Class Goes To Heaven (Elio Petri, 1971) ***
3 February 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The Spirit of Social Justice of the May '68 uprisings is still very much alive in this heavy-going but compelling parable of the rise and fall in the fortunes of an Italian factory worker dubbed Lulu (Gian Maria Volonte'): starting out as the Boss' darling for being the exemplary employee and pacesetter of the company, the loathing of his co-workers (who despise him for how his excessive zeal makes their own lackluster performance look bad in the eyes of the manager) and his female companion Mariangela Melato (who never gets any piece of the action at night because of his constant fatigue) eventually gets to him one day – with the result that he loses his concentration at work and suffers the loss of a finger in an accident. This changes his whole outlook on life as he becomes engrossed in an extremist workers' union, finally makes love in his car to a virginal female co-worker/union member he is obsessed with, is quitted by his consumerist hairdresser companion and his surrogate son and, when he is given the sack at work and is on the point of selling off his belongings, another more moderate workers' union comes to his aid by winning him his old job back. Although there is obviously much footage here of socio-political discussions, scenes of picketing and police riots, confrontations between diverse unions, etc., the film also has that winning whimsical streak promised by its title and exemplified by amusing episodes in a mental institution (where Volonte' visits his cracked-up ex-colleague Salvo Randone), the quasi-surreal sequence of Volonte' taking it out on all his useless possessions (including a giant inflatable doll of Scrooge McDuck!), and the concluding description at the assembly line of the titular incident itself which Volonte' had in a dream the previous night. Ennio Morricone's inventively 'metallic' music underscores the robotic gestures of the factory workers who, despite slaving eight hours a day at their machines, are not even aware what becomes of the parts they produce! While the film may seem overdone and dated in today's apathetic age, it clearly hit a nerve at the time of its release winning a handful of international awards including the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.


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