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Il marchese del Grillo (1981)

A mischievous nobleman and his poor doppelganger get into serious troubles when a practical joke endangers the Pope.


Mario Monicelli


Bernardino Zapponi (story), Leonardo Benvenuti (story) | 9 more credits »
9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Alberto Sordi ... Il marchese Onofrio Del Grillo / Il carbonaio Gasperino
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Il Papa Pio VII
Caroline Berg Caroline Berg ... Olimpia Martin
Riccardo Billi Riccardo Billi ... Aronne Piperino
Flavio Bucci ... Fra' Bastiano
Camillo Milli Camillo Milli ... Segretario del Papa
Cochi Ponzoni Cochi Ponzoni ... Il conte Rambaldo
Marc Porel ... Il capitano francese Blanchard
Pietro Tordi Pietro Tordi ... Monsignor Terenzio Del Grillo
Leopoldo Trieste ... Il padre Sabino
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrea Bevilacqua Andrea Bevilacqua ... Pompeo
Tommaso Bianco Tommaso Bianco ... Amministratore
Angela Campanella Angela Campanella ... Faustina
Alfredo Cohen Alfredo Cohen
Marina Confalone Marina Confalone ... Camilla Del Grillo


The marquess of Grillo is a good-natured, clever and women-loving man who is always inventing stories and cracking all types of jokes. The film tells the story of his life. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | History


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Italy | France



Release Date:

23 December 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

El marqués del Grillo See more »

Filming Locations:

Tarquinia, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actor Paolo Stoppa, who plays Pope Pio VII in this movie, has the unusual record of having played the role of a Pope no less than four times in his career, including Saint Peter in Nerone (1977), Alexander III in Becket (1964) and an unnamed Pope in Jus primae noctis (1972). See more »


La Marseillaise
Music and lyrics by Rouget de Lisle
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User Reviews

sordi at his peak
6 July 2004 | by rc615See all my reviews

Are we dealing with Alberto Sordi's top interpretation? Maybe not, but we are as close as hell...Anyway, superbly directed by Monicelli (once again, excellent job done in Cinecittà Studios recreating the early 19th century Rome), Sordi impersonates eccentric Marchese del Grillo, who actually lived, although not in the same period the movie depicts. Monicelli uses Del Grillo's myth and his plethora of jokes to expose the hypocrisy of Vatican and noble Romans, while ideas such as "freedom, equality and brotherhood" were slowly penetrating in the conservative Vatican State. Marchese del Grillo is surely a life-lover and an intellectual in his own way, and does not feel satisfied in narrow-minded 1815 Rome, despite (or maybe, because of) his wealth. He befriends frenchmen, enjoys spending time with common people and doesn't mind to corrupt a whole jury just to show that "justice is dead". While the first part of the movie may be just biographical (and extremely funny and full of unforgettable punchlines), the movie has its pivotal point when Marchese discovers he has an exact lookalike, who works as a coal seller (also played by Sordi, outstanding in his double role) in popular Rome. By trading places with the coal seller (often drunk, thus not really understanding what's going on), Marchese gets the chance to get rid of his family, the Pope Rome to join the cradle of European intellectual life, Paris. Sure, Alberto Sordi is by himself worth watching the movie, but nevertheless, Monicelli manages to show us an unusual side of History we often see or read. And by doing this, he also throws in the movie an handful of unforgettable characters both fictional (the coal seller, Don Bastiano, Ricciotto) and actual (Pope Pius VII, a noble family, such as the Del Grillos). Well, in the end, a must see, a movie with a double value: an outstanding comedy and a valid historical film.

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