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Storie di ordinaria follia (1981)

Poet/lecturer Charles Serking awakens from his alcoholic haze long enough to take a bus back to L.A. and plunge into an orgy of drink and sexual depravity.


Marco Ferreri


Marco Ferreri (scenario), Sergio Amidei (scenario) | 4 more credits »
9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Ben Gazzara ... Charles Serking
Ornella Muti ... Cass
Susan Tyrrell ... Vera
Tanya Lopert ... Vicky
Roy Brocksmith ... Barman
Katya Berger ... Girl on Beach (as Katia Berger)
Hope Cameron Hope Cameron ... Hotel Proprietor
Judith Drake ... Widow
Patrick Hughes Patrick Hughes ... Pimp
Wendy Welles Wendy Welles ... Runaway
Stratton Leopold Stratton Leopold ... Publisher
Anthony Pitillo Anthony Pitillo
Jay Julien
Peter Jarvis Peter Jarvis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Paul Boucher Jean-Paul Boucher


After a lecture where a poem is read out to a group of bored students, the alcoholic and sex addicted poet, Charles Serking, meets a young girl backstage. Then he travels to Los Angeles, and has sex with bizarre women. When Charles meets the gorgeous self-destructive prostitute Cass in a bar, he finds his soul mate and falls in love for her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Did You Know?


In Bukowski's short story, Mad Enough to be found in the compilation, Septuagenarian Stew, he talks about reluctantly meeting the cast and crew of a film called Songs of the Suicide Man, while they did a scene at Venice Beach. It was directed by Luigi Bellini and starring Ben Garabaldi and Eva Mutton, surely synonyms for the people behind this film. He also mentions that Garabaldi had appealing eyes but 'self-pleased' and 'dozing inside.' They had a drinking session for the writer's visit. There are many worthy references that seem like this even may have happened, such as Bukowski often did in his stories and poems by telling real stories with a variation of the real name with a little spruced up Bukowski magic. Suffice to say, he wasn't a fan of the film. The same story also references the film Crazy Love. See more »


Charles Serking: What's your name?
Vera: Vera.
Charles Serking: Did you enjot it, Vera?
Vera: Yeah, like being raped! When I got off the bus, I thought you'd lose your nerve. Most men are cowards in the broad daylight.
Charles Serking: Cock-teaser!
Vera: [Smoking a cigarillo] I want you to be mean to me. Next time I want you to... use your belt.
Charles Serking: I don't wear a belt. You're gonna have to lend me one.
Vera: [She gives him a wide black belt and exhales deeply on the cigarillo] Come on, Tiger, whip me. I want you to beat me before you stick it in me!
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Crazy Credits

'Copyright' is spelt as 'copyrigth'. See more »


Referenced in La dernière énigme (2011) See more »


Performed by Kenny Rogers
(bar music where Serking first meets Cass)
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User Reviews

Sensual and dirt... Bukowskian
20 November 2004 | by michelerealiniSee all my reviews

The movie is based on the novel of Charles Bukowski... and the film contains its spirit. "Storie di ordinaria follia" is deliberately sensual and "dirt", the main carachter (Ben Gazzara) takes directly inspiration from Bukowski himself -a drunk writer, who chooses to live among poors and neglected people, a man who lives sex like a philosophy, in order to taste the primal feeling of life...-.

The picture is worth watching -because Gazzara is very good and Ornella Muti as well, she's also so sweet and gorgeous...-. The film is interesting because it tries to capture Bukowski ideals and his pessimistic ways to see the world.

I think nevertheless that it is very difficult to film "materials" from a writer like him, because he's so excessive and outrageous... It's particularly difficult to translate his thoughts in pictures. The film is quite boring, the action is slow. Sometimes we have the feeling that there's no story. Marco Ferreri did doubtless better films (see "La grande bouffe" and "Don't touch the white woman").

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Italy | France



Release Date:

11 September 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Storie di ordinaria follia See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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