In the heat of the August fair holiday, Bruno Cortona cruises the streets of Rome in his powerful Lancia Aurelia Sport. Quite by chance he meets Roberto, a young university student. Roberto is fascinated by the carefree, easy life Bruno leads and agrees to spend the day with him…
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Great laughs blend easily with Risi's compassion for his subjects, Bruno and Roberto, who although opposites, connect to each other because of their loneliness. Mature, felt, and hilarious. A comedy masterpiece.
The "jolt" at the end might not have been the factor that Dino Risi claims to have made this film so successful. But it is indeed a jolt and, as abrupt as it is, turns a sardonic road film into a contemplative portrait of what has been painted thus far. Like Alexander Payne said: "All great films must be seen over and over".