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The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

L'albero degli zoccoli (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , History | 1 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
1:12 | Trailer

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The life inside a farm in Italy at the end of the 19th century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever ... See full summary »

Director:

Ermanno Olmi

Writer:

Ermanno Olmi
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18 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luigi Ornaghi Luigi Ornaghi ... Batistì
Francesca Moriggi Francesca Moriggi ... Batistina
Omar Brignoli Omar Brignoli ... Minec
Antonio Ferrari Antonio Ferrari ... Tuni
Teresa Brescianini Teresa Brescianini ... Widow Runk
Giuseppe Brignoli Giuseppe Brignoli ... Anselmo
Carlo Rota Carlo Rota ... Peppino
Pasqualina Brolis Pasqualina Brolis ... Teresina
Massimo Fratus Massimo Fratus ... Pierino
Francesca Villa Francesca Villa ... Annetta
Maria Grazia Caroli Maria Grazia Caroli ... Bettina
Battista Trevaini Battista Trevaini ... Il Finard
Giuseppina Langalelli Giuseppina Langalelli ... La Moglie Finarda
Lorenzo Pedroni Lorenzo Pedroni ... Il nonno Finard
Felice Cervi Felice Cervi ... Uslì
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Storyline

The life inside a farm in Italy at the end of the 19th century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of make him help them, although this represents a great sacrifice. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy another pair. What can they do? Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Once in a generation, a work of art appears as if by magic, to move and inspire its audience. A work that returns to a exhausted humanity the possibility of simple grandeur. We invite you to visit a time and place when life was still a sacred matter. When the family of man was still - a family.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

1 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tree of Wooden Clogs See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of 45 "great films." See more »

Goofs

When the grandfather and child are going outside to plant tomatoes a car can seen whizzing by on the road in the background. See more »

Quotes

Male passenger on boat to Milan: [on the boat to Milan: he tosses some bread crumbs into the water] The crumbs go to the fish... A bit of bread can bring in a basket of fish.
Elderly passenger on boat to Milan: But you have to be smart about it. There are more fools with fishing poles than there are fish in the water.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quite strangely, the names of the actors are listed as "last name first name", while the names of the rest of the crew are correctly listed as "first name last name". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ratataplan (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 (300i) - III. Turkish Rondo
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played by various characters
See more »

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User Reviews

The film will be with me for a long time.
7 May 1999 | by new1sapiSee all my reviews

An artistic masterpiece that almost any observant Catholic will cherish, especially an Italian Catholic. It is unclear how nonbelievers will connect to the film. By watching the film one discovers that while material possessions may make life easier they certainly can be a stumbling block on the path to sanctity. These peasants really put late twentieth century American Catholics to shame.

The film slowly unveils to the viewers one year in the life of Italian peasants at the close of the nineteenth century. That's about it. There's no hero, no antagonist, and no great wrong that gets set right; it's simply a slice of life. I do not want to reveal too much of the story because I think it will spoil it for the viewer.

The film can serve as an educational tool for viewers with children. It's like going to an outdoor historical museum, only the viewer gets to see everything that it would take one whole year to see at the museum (without the crowds). For example, the director takes the time to show painstakingly what it was like to wash clothes one hundred years ago. It's essentially a living documentary of late nineteenth century Italian provincial life.

Most American audiences will have to get used to the slow pace of the film. Even the humor is extremely subtle. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the pace. The pace was silent, peaceful, and steadfast just as the families are in the film. To me it is an escape (ironically an escape from an escape) from many of today's films that just explode with sound effects and rock music; films that move at blurring speed with scene cuts that are made with the intent to maximize audience stimulation but often with the result of increasing our stress level. This movie is a restful reprieve.


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