An army cadet accompanies an irascible, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The captain, Fausto, who wants no pity, brooks no disagreement, and charges into every ...
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An obscure Italian magistrate suspects that a well-known industrialist commited murder, and decides to investigate him, and bring him to court, whatever it takes. But - will the magistrate ... See full summary »
An army cadet accompanies an irascible, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The captain, Fausto, who wants no pity, brooks no disagreement, and charges into every situation, nicknames the youth Ciccio ("Babyfat"), and spends the next few days ordering him about and generally behaving badly in public. In Rome, Fausto summons a priest to ask for his blessing; in Naples, where Fausto joins a blind lieutenant for drinking and revelry, the two soldiers talk quietly and seriously about "going through with it." Also in Naples is Sara, in love with Fausto, but treated cruelly by him. What do the blind soldiers plan? Can Sara soften Fausto's hardened heart?Written by
Honestly, I'm only writing this to counteract absurd comments by other users. One comment and I'll say no more about it:
-----Start rant----- I HATE substandard, big star, corporate, homogenized movies. I hated the Bird Cage, I hated Point of No Return, I hated City of Angels, I hated Shall We Dance?(US) and every other movie that simply took a decent foreign film and photocopied it with familiar names in starring roles with dumbed-down dialogue because nobody thought that YOU were smart enough to understand the original. The whole world enjoys movies from other countries, enjoys visions of life in other places represented through film except the good 'ol USA that simply puts a veneer of saccharin over anything internationally successful to create unnecessary and boring hybrids. You don't have to be an intellectual to enjoy foreign movies, you simply have to have a brain in your head. -----End rant-----
The film is delicate, and presents a wonderful array of issues related to Italian culture at the time: inadequacy in the face of a changing world, individual impotence when fronted with social and personal injustice, and of course, that strange version of love only the Italians can put on screen.
The film has had a remake, and I found it inferior in just about every way. The original is simply good film-making, not an obvious ripoff that's been pasteurized to cater to a fast-food audience. Gassman is subtle, his manners and style give the film a slow pace, sometimes too slow for my tastes, but it's forgivable if you focus on other facets of the film, like the camera work and the faithful representations of culture through the dialogue. I've never liked Pacino, he's always seemed incredibly boring and stale to me, and his idea of subtlety is whether he should speak a bit more loudly or a lot more loudly. Except for maybe the first Godfather where he was fresh and not yet ruined by the studio life.
If you don't speak Italian, you'll have to read along, but the translation I saw on the DVD was pretty good.
See this film when you've had a bad day at work and you want to see how life could be worse AND better in one fell swoop...
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