Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30


Alessandro Blasetti


Film Notes

Skilfully directed by Alessandro Blasetti and a great success with audiences, Prima comunione immersed Aldo Fabrizi in the world of Cesare Zavattini. The film’s story and tone are indeed quite typical of the screenwriter, of his strengths and his limitations. The fairytale fable that stems from the life of an ordinary man (the misadventures of a wealthy shop owner on Easter Sunday several hours before his daughter’s first communion), the surreal tone and the secondary figures are clearly shaped by the humour of 1930s magazines, which Zavattini returned to after his neorealist period. The theme is one of his favourites: human selfishness, virtue and the cruelty of both rich and poor. One year later, the fable would be even more fantastic and daring with Miracle in Milan.

Blasetti’s style is overtly inspired by the René Clair of the 1930s, with a slightly vintage sense of humour. The film seems especially made to fit Fabrizi, who emphasises certain harsh qualities of his character and plays with the contrast between his own bulk and the fast pace of the events. At breakneck speed and out of breath, Fabrizi illustrates Zavattini’s ‘layered’ vision: a superficial geniality conceals pettiness and a mean streak, but in the end generosity (of the narrator and the characters) triumphs and everyone is forgiven. We can’t help but think that, if we remove Zavattini’s interpretation, the film’s protagonist is a precursor of one of the most unsavoury characters played by the actor: the unscrupulous, rich contractor in C’eravamo tanto amati.

Emiliano Morreale

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Cesare Zavattini. Scen.: Cesare Zavattini, Alessandro Blasetti. F.: Mario Craveri. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Veniero Colasanti. Mus.: Alessandro Cicognini. Int.: Aldo Fabrizi (commendator Carloni), Gaby Morlay (Maria Carloni), Ludmilla Dudarova (signorina Ludovisi), Lucien Baroux (arciprete), Enrico Viarisio (uomo del filobus), Andreina Mazzotti (Anna Carloni), Adriana Gallandt (Antonia), Ernesto Almirante (invitato anziano), Louis de Funès (prete). Prod.: Universalia Produzione, Franco London Film. 35mm. Bn.