Sog.: dalla pièce omonima di Eduardo De Filippo. Scen.: Eduardo De Filippo. Int.: Monica Vitti (Rita), Luca De Filippo (Rodolfo), Eduardo De Filippo (Agostino Muscariello), Pupella Maggio (Bettina), Ferruccio De Ceresa (Attilio Samueli), Vincenzo Salemme (Antonio), Franco Angrisano (Don Roberto), Franco Folli (Michele), Sergio Solli (Don Arturo), Linda Moretti (Donna Fortunata). DCP. D.: 92’. Col.
Dear Eduardo, last Sunday I saw Il cilindro on television. The morning after, I repeatedly tried to telephone you in Rome, but there was never any answer, and so I have decided to write to you instead. […] If you happen to consider Il cilindro a minor work, please excuse me. Do not bemoan the fact that Il cilindro both excited and surprised me; you have managed to amaze me once more! Il cilindro seems to me to be perfect, exemplary, classic; I wouldn’t hesitate to describe the lightning-like progression of the scenes, all of which are essential, as being worthy of Molière. I like so many things about Il cilindro that I do not know where to begin. […] So, I will pick one random element. With Il cilindro you have invented a new genre. Call it what you will, definitions don’t matter: television-play; television-film; television-story; art-television; televisual art. In short, we witnessed a show designed and created specifically for video, and which could only achieve the limit of its beauty through this means. So, we could call it ‘chamber theatre’.
I could cite an infinite list of episodes and details and I could even place them in a statistical list, according to today’s fashion, and construct from that list a complex argument, but a single example will suffice: the extraordinary close-up of the actor Ferruccio De Ceresa […] It is probably the longest close-up, not only in the history of the television-film, but in the history of cinema. […] Such an exceptionally lengthy close-up, in which so many hands and so many voices flutter around a single face would be possible, acceptable and expressive only on television.
Mario Soldati, “La Stampa”, 18 November 1978, reprinted in Lettere di Mario Soldati, Mondadori, Milan 1979