Sog.: dalla commedia Le miserie ‘d mönssù Travet di Vittorio Bersezio. Scen.: Aldo De Benedetti, Tullio Pinelli. F.: Massimo Terzano. M.: Gisa Radicchi Levi. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Carlo Campanini (Ignazio Travet), Vera Carmi (Rosa Travet), Paola Veneroni (Marianin Travet), Gino Cervi (commendator Francesco Battilocchio), Luigi Pavese (caposezione), Alberto Sordi (Camillo Barbarotti), Laura Gore (Brigida), Mario Siletti (Montoni, detto Môton), Pierluigi Verando (Carluccio), Domenico Gambino (Giachetta). Prod.: Dino De Laurentiis per Pan Film. 35mm. D.: 101’. Bn.
In the early months of 1945, when Northern Italy was still occupied by the Germans, in Rome Roberto Rossellini was restaging the tragic occupation which had only just ended. Also in Rome, Soldati, on the other hand, sought out urban views which could evoke late 19th century Turin for his cinematic version of Vittorio Bersezio’s 19th century comedy: the affectionate elegy of a very petit bourgeoisie of times past, of that which Fascism disparagingly termed ‘Italietta’.
The director recalls: “I shot the film in a great rush; I was not yet forty and I wanted to shoot a film on Turin in Rome before Turin was even liberated. In the studio we rebuilt the city, the Turin which I remembered and which existed until it was bombed. […] The film was my own Rome Open City: I am proud of it, above all because I managed to do something which the Fascists had prohibited me from doing”. In actual fact the director had attempted to make a film about this little Turinese employee in the Thirties, but the satire of government ministers was not appreciated, and the censors prevented the film from being made. In the end, Travet “is for Soldati a kind of return to his roots, to the years spent in Turin, to the frequenting of the group of intellectuals that gathered around Piero Gobetti, to ‘Rivoluzione liberale’ and to ‘Baretti’, to the discussions on the destiny of the petit bourgeoisie. In a way it is a Gobetti-esque film, extremely aware of the end of a class and of the spirit of the times”. (Orio Caldiron). In a structure dominated by brief episodes and sketches, the unctuous section chief played by Luigi Pavese stands out, as does one of the first notably appearances of Alberto Sordi, in a role already perfect for him.