Auto-factory foreman Nino (Alberto Sordi) takes his proper, modern wife and daughters from industrial Milan to rural Sicily to visit his family and get back in touch with his roots in Alberto Lattuada’s devastatingly funny character study—equal parts culture-clash farce and existential nightmare.
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A ridiculously under-seen film that is thankfully easily available thanks to Criterion. The film goes from a dark comedy in the first half to a deadly serious gangster pic in the second. Among my favorite films of the 1960s.
Alberto Sordi is wonderful as usual, and the film paints a nice portrait of a traditional Sicilian village.
I second Christopher's remark that it needed more energy, it moved a little slow in some parts.
Entertaining comedy from director Alberto Lattuada features a hilarious central performance from Alberto Sordi. Its biggest flaw is its leisurely pacing, it could have used a bit more energy at times - but the suspenseful final sequence is brilliantly conceived.
Avec un constant humour désabusé et caustique et une interprétation haut de gamme d'Alberto Sordi, étonnant dans sa verbeuse exubérance et sa conciliante faconde, cette oeuvre transalpine faussement débonnaire, inédite en salles dans l'Hexagone, dénonce, mine de rien, la profonde et permanente gangrène de la religion, de la politique et du monde des affaires contaminés par la tentaculaire mafia.www.cinefiches.com
I thought that this would be a typical poorly filmed but amusing film. It is actually an engaging piece that seems predictable, yet the human story (Nino) is much more compelling than what we see on the surface. Yes, many aspects are predictable, but the story is well-paced and the ending is much better than I expected and not what I expected.
"...boisterous fun with crusty Sicilian stereotypes on that sun-baked island of strict moral codes and ancient family ties. Then -- as suddenly as a cloudburst appearing out of a clear blue sky -- it turns dark..." and that darkness is like a slap across the face, bringing tears to your eyes.