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Allonsanfan (1974)

Allonsanfàn (original title)
A anarchist leader (Fulvio) wishes to retire, as he is old and tired. He tries to hide himself, but his friends find him and insist he carries on helping them.
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Fulvio Imbriani
Lea Massari ... Charlotte
Mimsy Farmer ... Francesca
Laura Betti ... Esther
Claudio Cassinelli ... Lionello
Benjamin Lev Benjamin Lev ... Vanni 'Peste'
Renato De Carmine Renato De Carmine ... Costantino
Stanko Molnar ... Allonsanfan
Luisa De Santis ... Fiorella
Biagio Pelligra Biagio Pelligra ... Il Prete
Michael Berger Michael Berger ... Remigiano
Raul Cabrera Raul Cabrera
Alderice Casali Alderice Casali ... Concetta
Roberto Frau Roberto Frau
Cirylle Spiga Cirylle Spiga ... Massimo


A anarchist leader (Fulvio) wishes to retire, as he is old and tired. He tries to hide himself, but his friends find him and insist he carries on helping them. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


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Release Date:

1 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Allonsanfan See more »

Filming Locations:

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Title derived from the first two words of the French national anthem. See more »


Edited into Marcello, una vita dolce (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Fulvio should have made them an offer they couldn't refuse...
28 November 2007 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

Marcello Mastroianni's story is never simple. He is released from prison in hopes that he would lead authorities to the underground resistance, but instead he finds himself torn between wealthy and a family he once had, and the opportunity to help his brethren save others from the dreaded cholera. It is a tough choice, and in the end Mastroianni (as in previous films) has done a great job of building tension within his character. The moral dilemma he is faced with is a tough one, kill those he was once involved with – in essence betray them, or forever be chased by his past sins. He chooses the latter, and uses trickery and trust to break this small group of bandits. "Allonsanfan" can be spliced into three different distinct films, each with amazing imagery, but lacking the development needed to really bring the audience further into the film. The first is with Mastroianni heading home, overcoming sickness, finding his girlfriend, and all the while plotting an ambush. Great scenes, could have been a great moment, but we know nothing about his family or girlfriend – outside of what they mutter or what the subtitles give us. We needed to see more of his interaction with these random characters. The second part involves his son, good, but was again cut short and strange because we knew nothing about it outside of the fact that he had a son. I can't even go further into the entire frog scene, I am still trying to wrap my brain around that. The incident on the lake was another example of having a strong cinematographer, but a apathetic storyteller. Finally, there was the scene in the South where we see why this film is entitled "Allonsanfan", but by this point the excitement has died, and we are just waiting for a finale.

This film did involve hard work and dedication by the entire crew to make, with that said; I cannot just fully say that this film was a failure. There were those that worked hard on this project like the cinematographer and the amazing score by Ennio Morricone. These elements alone brought this film out of one that would make any viewer fall asleep into one worth viewing at least once. The story is where most of the trouble laid, and again, I cannot state that it was one of those cases where there were too many ideas and not enough time or conjoining scenes. We would begin a thought, but end elsewhere in the story (again, see the segment with the frog). Perhaps some of it was done to try to bring sympathy to Mastroianni, but it could have been done without the random acts of history – or perhaps more history. There was a moment in this film where I thought we could have used more history devoted to the story. That is what was missing from scene to scene. At times our characters were moving without a motive, and history could have interjected to help the audience better see the motives and reasoning. Perhaps it was my lack of knowledge of what Italy was like at the end of Napoleon's era, but more explanation could have been used do develop our bandits, or the motives behind Mastroianni's deeds.

On a small note, if you decide to watch this film on VHS, beware of the subtitles. I am very good at reading subtitles on a foreign film, I hate the sound of dubbed voices, but with "Allonsanfan", the subtitles were all over the place. There were several occasions where they were missing from conversations, where one character would have a three-minute speech and the only word to come up in the subtitle would be "yes", or when half the words were missing from the side of the television. It was troublesome to read and watch at the same time, so to get the full effect of the film, I found myself turning off the sound and reading to the best of my ability. Probably lessoned the film, but kept me in check with the meager characters.

Overall, I cannot say this was a horrible film, but it won't be viewed again by yours truly. I may challenge myself to see it again on DVD if it ever is released, but for now, it needs to tighten up its story and used a bold marker on its characters. Mastroianni was superb in his role, but nobody could keep up with him. They were all overacting, overbearing, boring, or just plain unknown. There were other characters in this film, but if you asked me to name one – well, maybe Charlotte, but that is it – I don't think I could. The Taviani's had some great ideas, but the execution is where they lacked. There could have been more A to B to C structure with the story, instead it was as if they built three separate stories and hastily glued them together. If you were forced to watch this film, I think you could pull away by just seeing the end and knowing everything you missed. It is a sharp ending, one wishes only that the rest of the film were that way. One viewing, if you dare – if not – you are not missing anything. There are better Italian films out there.

Whew, this one took me back to when I watched Topol's "Gallileo". Too stagy for my enjoyment.

Grade: ** out of *****

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