Anni Difficili

Luigi Zampa

Sog.: da Il vecchio con gli stivali di Vitaliano Brancati; Scen.: Vitaliano Brancati, Sergio Amidei [e Luigi Zampa, non accreditato], con la collaborazione di Enrico Fulchignoni, Franco Evangelisti; F.: (1,33:1): Carlo Montuori; Mo.: Eraldo da Roma; Mu.: Franco Casavola; Scgf.: Ivo Battelli; Co.: Giuliana Bagno; Ar.: Francesco De Feo; Ass. regia: Mauro Bolognini; Int.: Umberto Spadaro (Aldo Piscitello), Massimo Girotti (Giovanni), Ave Ninchi (Rosina), Enzo Biliotti (il barone), Giovanni Grasso, Aldo Silvani (il farmacista), Odette Bedogni [Delia Scala] (Elena), Olinto Cristina, Loris Gizzi (il ministro fascista), Ernesto Almirante (nonno), Carletto Esposito (Riccardo), Milly Vitale (Maria), Raniero De Cenzo, Ermanno Randi, Bruno e Vittorio Di Stefano, Gabriele Tinti, Natale Cirino, Giuseppe Nicolosi, Agostino Salvietti; Prod.: Domenico Farzari per la Briguglio Film; v.c. n. 4481 del 27/08/1948; Pri. pro.: 29 settembre 1948. 35mm. D.: 113’. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

“Being able to laugh at one’s own faults is the greatest virtue of a civilized people” says the opening sign. But in 1948 not everyone was willing to laugh with civility. At the first meeting between Zampa and Brancati, they adapted a story by the Sicilian writer that told the paradoxical parable of an unlucky man (Spadaro) forced at first to join the fascist party and later hounded by who had really been a fascist but stayed in power under the Italian republic.

It was the first time in the post-war period that there were discussions about “trasformismo, rampant immorality at every level of society, impossibility for a common man to live and be honest” (Brunetta). Zampa and Brancati have a secular, disenchanted, bitterly ironic point of view. Perhaps this was the birth of Italian-style comedy.

At first the censorship board did not claim any responsibility (“Since the content of the film seemed offensive to the Italian people, the Commission made no decision regarding it”). The film was released by Andreotti as undersecretary to the President of the Council of Ministers with special powers regarding performing arts (Brancati would speak negatively about the reasons of such a generous gesture). There were later parliamentary interpellations for the destruction of a film that was “considered a national shame” (Zampa). And on the left, things didn’t go much better: Ugo Casiraghi in “l’Unità” wrote that Zampa equated fascism with antifascism. Italo Calvino tried to defend it in the Milan edition of L’Unità: the article was never published. Today, thanks to scholars like Tatti Sanguineti and Goffredo Fo , the film has finally received the respect and status it deserves.

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Restored in 2008 by L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory from an original nitrate positive print preserved by Fondazione Cineteca Italiana and from dupe safety preserved by the British Film Institute.