6.8/10
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Traffic Jam (1979)

L'ingorgo (original title)
A tremendous congestion hit the Roma highway ring. The biggest traffic jam ever seen endures for more than 36 hours. People blocked in their cars react at the beginning normally. But the ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. De Benedetti, lawyer
... Irène
... Carlo
... Mara's lover
... Martina
... Mario
... Marco Montefoschi
... Teresa
... Professor
... Angela
... Franco
Orazio Orlando ... Ferreri
Giovannella Grifeo ... Germana Gargiulo
Lino Murolo ... Germana's father
... Ambulance sick man
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Storyline

A tremendous congestion hit the Roma highway ring. The biggest traffic jam ever seen endures for more than 36 hours. People blocked in their cars react at the beginning normally. But the more the time advance the more we are witness of personal dramas, hysteric reactions and more. All the episodes are linked like one only plot. Cars and their hosts are a microcosm of stories part of a major universe: the congestion. Written by 1felco

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Drama

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Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traffic Jam  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Non Italian actors spoke in their own languages and later they were all dubbed. See more »

Connections

Version of Weekend (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Woman of Night
Performed by Angelina Monti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
TRAFFIC JAM (Luigi Comencini, 1979) ***
4 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

I haven’t been aware of this film for very long, one which I mentioned fairly recently while discussing Jean-Luc Godard’s WEEK-END (1967) with Michael Elliott in this very thread; I’ve now acquired it on DivX in a slightly trimmed version (113 minutes against the official 121), having learnt of the mixed reception to its DVD release in Italy (due to said length issues and dirt-riddled video).

It features a remarkable cast of international stars: (in alphabetical order) Gerard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere, Annie Girardot, Ciccio Ingrassia, Marcello Mastroianni, Miou-Miou, Angela Molina, Fernando Rey, Stefania Sandrelli, Alberto Sordi and Ugo Tognazzi, plus a host of other interesting supporting characters (including Pupi Avati regular Gianni Cavina). Luigi Comencini is an underrated Italian director, of whose work I’ve seen – not too long ago – EVERYBODY GO HOME (1960), Italian SECRET SERVICE (1968) and THE CAT (1977); I’ve also just acquired his BEBO’S GIRL (1963) which, at the time of release, counted Jean-Luc Godard among its admirers! Anyway, this savage black comedy (on which Bernardino Zapponi, Fellini’s regular screen writing partner around this time, had a hand) could perhaps have hit its satirical targets better – and it would have been even funnier with a greater director (say, Luis Bunuel) at its helm but it’s nevertheless well enough done; incidentally, Bunuel’s own son Juan Luis did actually serve as a second-unit assistant director on this Italo-Franco-German production!

Several good (and a few memorable) vignettes abound: arrogant lawyer Sordi, accompanied by his long suffering assistant Orazio Orlandi, looking for an uninhabited place to take a crap among the car wreckages; poor man Cavina knowingly bartering his sexy wife Sandrelli for a night with stranded actor Mastroianni in return for a job as chauffeur to the stars at Cinecitta' and even intimating at blackmail due to the actor’s eventual non-performance in bed; Molina’s three-way rape in a delivery van caught in the traffic jam is witnessed by four aging and passive would-be vigilantes; Rey and Girardot, as a couple on their Silver Wedding Anniversary holiday quarreling bitterly (and bringing up their infidelities out into the open) about lost keys to their front door which were in Rey’s possession all along (although he slips them back into her handbag when she’s not looking); Dewaere’s chain-smoking manic depressive perennially hung up on his girl; a bald-headed man’s foul-mouthed aggression on his car is ‘silenced’ by a meek driver (by the end of the film, then, their positions are virtually reversed); Depardieu forever threatening to throw himself under the stationary(!) cars when he finds out that his wife (Miou-Miou) is Professor Tognazzi’s lover; still, the funniest bit is perhaps Rey’s insults traded with a reckless driver two cars away from him which is ‘passed on’ by a mild-mannered middle-man. Fiorenzo Carpi contributes the simple and sparse, yet highly effective, brooding music score.


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