IL TEATRO DELLE MERAVIGLIE – Documentario di propaganda n. 3

Flavio Calzavara

Int.: Aldo Fabrizi. Prod. Giuseppe Amato per Cines. 35mm. 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

In a theatre in Rome, Aldo Fabrizi entertains an audience with a series of anti-English anecdotes and jokes based on an unpleasant experience with two British tourists when he was a poor cabman.

This small propaganda film by Cines is part of a triptych commissioned by the Fascist government on the eve of its declaration of war with England and was never distributed. It is an extraordinary document because it was Fabrizi’s first screen appearance – although 1942 is the year associated with his debut in Avanti c’è posto… by Mario Bonnard, also produced by Giuseppe Amato for Cines – and was a precursor of his unforgettable cabman role three years later in L’ultima carrozzella (The Last Wagon) by Mario Mattòli, which Fabrizi himself wrote with Federico Fellini.

The shot of a commemorative plaque, dated 18 November 1935, with the words “in remembrance of the siege… and enormous injustice against Italy…” refers to the “sanctions” against Italy petitioned for by England and enforced by the League of Nations, as retaliation for Italy’s colonisation in North Africa.

Angelo Draicchio

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