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The adventures of two derelicts. They are prisoners in a battleship, then, after a mutiny, they succeed to become officers. They leave the boat and start to drift all around the Spain with ... See full summary »


Mario Monicelli


Leonardo Benvenuti (story) (as Leo Benvenuti), Piero De Bernardi (story) | 6 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Giancarlo Giannini ... Guzman
Enrico Montesano ... Lazarillo
Vittorio Gassman ... Marchese Felipe de Aragona
Nino Manfredi ... Il cieco
Giuliana de Sio Giuliana de Sio ... Rosario (as Giuliana De Sio)
Bernard Blier ... Il ruffiano
Paolo Hendel Paolo Hendel ... Il precettore
Vittorio Caprioli ... Mozzafiato
Enzo Robutti ... Capitano della nave
Blanca Marsillach ... Ponzia
María Casanova María Casanova ... Donna incinta (as Maria Casanova)
Juan Carlos Naya Juan Carlos Naya ... Venditore ceramiche
Claudio Bisio Claudio Bisio ... Chief of the slaves
Sal Borgese ... Il nostromo
Blaki Blaki


The adventures of two derelicts. They are prisoners in a battleship, then, after a mutiny, they succeed to become officers. They leave the boat and start to drift all around the Spain with the mere goal to reach something to eat. A prostitute could set their life. Written by 1felco

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Italy | Spain



Release Date:

18 December 1987 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rogues See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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Referenced in Seinfeld: The Movie (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Attractive and fun retelling based on Guzmán De Alfarache by Mateo Alemán and Lazarillo De Tormes
8 October 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Charming and sympathetic adaptation on classic Spanish Picaros as Guzman De Alfarache (Giancarlo Giannini) and Lazarillo of Tormes (Enrico Montesano) , both of whom are lovingly transferred to the screen on their infancy and adulthood , in this enjoyable adaptation of one of its first prototypes preceding the immortal Don Quixote . It tells the first person adventures of two derelicts , young street urchins and it thus ultimately both recount feats and moralizing on those childish excesses . As it is told by flashbacks and narrating Lazarillo's life . In the opening frames , Lazarillo , a poor boy , is sold into bondage by his mother to the first of a succession of masters . Thus begin the travels of Lazarillo , as he learns to live by his wits , first with a greedy blind beggar who beats and starves him . Lázaro is a poor boy of humble origins from Salamanca . His mother asks a wily blind beggar (Nino Manfredi) , to take him as his apprentice . Lazarillo eventually becomes an accomplished street-wise thief who survives quite handily through petty crime . Cruel necessity causes the canny Lazarillo to leave this most favorite master and move on to yet other unscrupulous patrons and more petty crime in the shadow of the always threatening Inquisition that undoubtedly condemns thieves to be hanged for his life of crime . Only one of his succession of masters is kind to him , the impoverished threadbare but proud nobleman (engagingly portrayed by Vittorio Gassman) who desperately tries to appear eligible and arrogant , but whose pretensions are cruelly mocked as he and his new servant Lazarillo slowly starve together . His travails afford opportunities for much biting social and political satire sharply observed along the way . Lazarillo finally seems to find a good place among a roving roguish company of stage scenes . Lazarillo joins forces another rogue young , Guzmán Alfarache , and with his newly acquired apprentice undertake several adventures . They are prisoners as galley rowers in a battleship , then , after a mutiny , they succeed to become officers, but later on , they are thrown out of the galleon and begin to drift all around the Spain with the mere aim to reach something to eat . They meet a whore could set their life but things go wrong .

Nice film based on two classic novels , as a picaresque novel written by Mateo Alemán and anonymous Lazarillo Tormes ; dealing with fun and funny adventures of two derelicts , it features amusing events , adequate cinematography and good settings . As the wonderful brooding quality of the Spanish landscape is established as a fitting background to the events which transpire . Pretty good but free adaptation about two vintage novels that is credited with founding a literary genre , the ¨Picaresque novel¨ , from the Spanish world ¨Picaro¨ , meaning rogue or rascal . Here Lázaro uses his cunning while serving the blind person as well as several other masters , and also learning to practice all kinds of tricks and traps . He soon learns to outwit his mean-spirited captor in some delightfully realized sequences . Lazarillo suffers extreme famine because of the lack of food and designs a lot of strategies to get aliments . As he deals with a blind , a selfish verger and some travelling comedians . Being an Italian/Spanish co-production the picture is plenty of Spaniard secondaries as Blanca Marsillach , Juan Carlos Naya , María Casanova , Blaki , Aldo Sambrell , Alfonso Del Real , Jesús Guzmán , Chris Huerta , Lola Forner , and Italian ones as Sal Borgese , Sabrina Ferilli , Vittorio Caprioli , among others

Based on an anonymous book that created the picaresque novel , this extensive genre includes ¨Cervantes's Rinconete and Cortadillo¨ , ¨Henry Fielding's Tom Jones¨ and ¨Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn¨ . The identity of the author of ¨Lazarillo¨ has been a puzzle for nearly four hundred years , it is likely that the writer chose to remain anonymous out of fear of religious prosecution . Lazarillo De Tormes comes from river Tormes , this is a river runs through his home town : Salamanca . Given the subversive nature of Lazarillo , and its open criticism of the Catholic Church , the novel was strongly censored at the time . Its influence extends to twentieth century , dramas , and movies featuring the ¨anti-hero¨ . And the novel Guzmán de Alfarache , by this means , is conceived as an extensive doctrinal sermon about the sins of society , and was so received by the author's contemporaries, despite the hybrid qualities between an engaging novel and a moralizing discourse. These novels were highly popular in its time . Many editions were published, and not only in Spanish . This film gives a vivid and jolly description of the world of the pauper and the petty thief , including various popular sayings and a great number of of villagers stories . It describes the adventures of a pair of Picaros , exposing injustices who usually suffer while amusing the viewer . This movie displays an appropriate photography and being masterfully shot on atmospheric location in Covarrubias , La Vid , Burgos , Peñaranda de Duero, Salamanca , Ávila , Castilla y León and other Castilian towns and villages . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Mario Monicelli.

This classic novel has been adapted several times : a silent rendition , 1925 , by Florian Rey with Jose Nieto , Montenegro and Pitusin , the classic ¨El Lazarillo De Tormes¨ by Cesar Fernández Ardavin and it won the Golden Bear in Berlin Festival and ¨Lazaro De Tormes¨ by Fernando Fernan Gómez with Rafael Álvarez 'El Brujo' , Karra Elejalde , Beatriz Rico .

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