Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 16:30

Il teatro delle meraviglie / AVANTI C’È POSTO…

Introduced by

Cielo Pessione (Aldo Fabrizi's nephew)

IL TEATRO DELLE MERAVIGLIE - Documentario di propaganda n. 3

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

Cast and Credits

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


Film Notes

In the 1930s, Aldo Fabrizi was a theatre celebrity in Rome known for his monologues about the complications of everyday life (his filler line was: “Have you noticed?”). In the middle of the war, producer Peppino Amato gave him his cinema debut, in a film directed by veteran Mario Bonnard. However, Fabrizi not only acted in the movie but was also its creator. He called on other screenwriters to collaborate on the script, including a very young Federico Fellini. The film’s story revolves around one of Fabrizi’s most successful stage characters, the tram driver, and his chance encounter with a young woman in need (Adriana Benetti). The film is imbued with a certain sentimental tone and is set against the backdrop of the war. In contrast to other productions of the time, Avanti c’è posto... makes notable use of the local vernacular and real locations; the pace is quick and farcical, a hallmark of Fabrizi’s future movies. It was a success, and immediately afterwards Fabrizi starred as a fishmonger in Campo de’ Fiori and as a driver in L’ultima carrozzella (The Last Wagon). In the first of these Fabrizi and Anna Magnani performed as a couple, two years before meeting up again in Rossellini’s Rome, Open City, with Fellini tagging along as Fabrizi’s trusted screenwriter. Later on, Rossellini identified Fabrizi’s working-class comedies such as Avanti c’è posto... and Campo de’ Fiori as precursors of neo-realist cinema.

Emiliano Morreale

Cast and Credits

Sog., Scen.: Aldo Fabrizi, Federico Fellini, Piero Tellini, Cesare Zavattini. F.: Vincenzo Seratrice. M.: Maria Rosada. Scgf.: Gianni Sarazani. Mus.: Giulio Bonnard. Int.: Aldo Fabrizi (Cesare Montani), Adriana Benetti (Rosella), Andrea Checchi (Bruno Bellini), Carlo Micheluzzi (Angelo Pandolin), Jone Morino (signora svanita), Pina Gallini (padrona di Rosella), Gioconda Stari (Teresa), Cesira Vianello (Cecilia Pandolin), Arturo Bragaglia (Tullio), Virgilio Riento (controllore). Prod: Giuseppe Amato per Cines. 35mm. Bn.