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Caterina in the Big City (2003)

Caterina va in città (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 24 October 2003 (Italy)
When her father, Giancarlo is transferred to Rome from the small country town of Montalto Di Castro, Caterina, a 12 years old girl, will discover her new classmates, a totally new world, an... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Teghil ... Caterina Iacovoni
... Giancarlo Iacovoni
... Agata Iacovoni
Antonio Carnevale ... Cesarino
Silvio Vannucci ... Fabietto Cruciani
Federica Sbrenna ... Daniela Germano
Carolina Iaquaniello ... Margherita Rossi Chaillet
Zach Wallen ... Edward (as Zach -James Smith- Wallen)
Martino Reviglio ... Gianfilippo
... Manlio Germano
... Lorenzo Rossi Chaillet
Paola Tiziana Cruciani ... Zia Marisa
Luigi Grilli ... Zio Alfredo
Tereza Paula Da Rosa ... Teresa
Renata Orso ... Zia Adelina


When her father, Giancarlo is transferred to Rome from the small country town of Montalto Di Castro, Caterina, a 12 years old girl, will discover her new classmates, a totally new world, an ambient extremely divided politically. She starts developing her friendship with the "left side", represented by Margherita, and the right, Daniela, side of her class. She will lose herself, without knowing who she really is. However, maybe Edward, the young Australian boy, who lives in the apartment across hers, can help her more that she thinks. Written by filippo-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes you just want to fit in...or not


Comedy | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 October 2003 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Caterina in the Big City  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€563,954 (Italy), 26 October 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,116, 17 June 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$293,268, 16 October 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story begins in 2003, but the dates do not match up with the days of the week for that year. See more »


References The Blues Brothers (1980) See more »


Inno ufficiale dei giovani fascisti
Music by Giuseppe Blanc and lyrics by Vittorio E. Bravetta
Sung at the wedding reception
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User Reviews

A Film Filed to Overflowing with Stories and Information
1 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

'Caterina va in citta' ('Caterina in the Big City') is an Italian film that takes as its storyline the coming of age of a young teenager transported by her family from the quiet Tuscany seaside village of Montaldo Di Castro to the challenging realities of Big City Rome, but that is only the means to an end of exploring Italian politico-social life and its effects on the youth of today. It comes very close to drowning in its own excesses, but at the root of the film is a sensitive tale of a young girl's struggles with growing into an adulthood that puzzles, frightens and challenges her.

Caterina (Alice Teghil) finds her greatest moments of happiness in her home town singing mezzo soprano in the choir: simple pleasures in a simple setting surrounded by country folk content to live life day to day. Her father Giancarlo (Sergio Castellitto) is a teacher who can't hold a job, partially because he is so outspoken and partially because he is a raving truly obnoxious person. Her mother Agata (Margherita Buy) is subservient, a woman with few coping mechanisms who allows her odious husband to run an abusive household. Giancarlo's aunt is ill in Rome and with the idea of finding a job where his talents are respected, Giancarlo uproots his little family and moves to the big city. There the social castes are evident and Caterina is judged a country hick until she is befriended by first a rebel who bonds with Caterina, introduces her to tattoos and liquor, and causes a schism between her important mother (Giancarlo hoped to have is novel published by the woman), the daughter and his family. Caterina then is absorbed into the rich and spoiled rank and file of the wealthy, not fitting in until the girls do a make over. That situation is again disrupted by Giancarlo's blindly inappropriate behavior. The true Caterina is somehow lost, still dreaming of becoming a fine mezzo soprano, but tagging along with the crowd du jour. Ultimately Giancarlo's multiple and consistent failures drive him away from the family, he rides off to oblivion on his restored motorbike, and Agata and Caterina both bloom.

The noise level of this film is such that it is difficult to watch: the young girls means of communication is a mixture of screaming, loud talking, and fighting and otherwise making us uncomfortable. Yet underneath all of the political and social expose and brandishing is a truly wonderful young Caterina whose life as a soap opera is watched tenderly by an Australian boy who plays the guitar and observes her family from a window across the way from Caterina's Rome home. The moments toward the end of the film when the playback comes justifies the fuss of getting there.

This is not a film this viewer would sit through again, but reflecting on the story after all the commotion is over, hearing Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus' and Verdi's 'Nabucco" etc as the inspiration behind Caterina's honest dreams, makes is a more memorable experience. In Italian with English subtitles. Grady Harp

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