Brutti, sporchi e cattivi

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  • 1976
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 7.7  (8,978)

Brutti, sporchi e cattivi is a critically acclaimed Italian black comedy directed by Ettore Scola released in 1976. The film presents a satirical, grotesque depiction of a poor, dysfunctional family living in a Rome shantytown. The protagonist is Giacinto Mazzatella, a thug who spends his days scheming to take advantage of his family members and terrorizing his neighborhood. He lives in a run-down shack with his wife, Concetta, and his illegitimate sons - the naive Ornella and the criminal Bruna. Other family members include his daughter-in-law Sofia, who works as a prostitute, and his estranged wife, who is institutionalized due to her mental illness.

The story is presented in a non-linear manner, with flashbacks and dream sequences intermixed with the main narrative. The movie begins with Giacinto dreaming of his own funeral, which he envisions as a grandiose event complete with fancy cars and mourners. The reality, however, is that Giacinto is a miserly, controlling person who mistreats everyone in his life. He frequently makes idle threats and is easily provoked into fits of violence.

The characters' lives are a portrait of squalor and depravity, with many of the scenes taking place amid piles of garbage and filth. The cinematography is gritty and raw, perfectly capturing the desolation and poverty of the shantytown. The performances by the ensemble cast are uniformly excellent, with Nino Manfredi's portrayal of Giacinto being a standout.

Despite the bleak subject matter, the film is laced with humor and absurdism. For example, Giacinto's obsession with money leads him to entertain blackmail schemes involving a large, useless jerrycan of petrol. He also hatches a convoluted plan to dig a tunnel to the Vatican in order to rob the pope's treasure. Through these outrageous plots and characterizations, Scola manages to highlight the humanity of these deeply flawed individuals.

The movie's themes of poverty, crime, and dysfunctional families feel as relevant now as when the film was made. The vision of Rome presented in Brutti, sporchi e cattivi is not the romanticized, touristic version of the city that is often portrayed in films - instead, it is a harsh, unforgiving reality that is often overlooked.

In conclusion, Brutti, sporchi e cattivi is a masterful work of filmmaking that deftly blends humor and tragedy. The characters are vividly drawn, and the setting is immersive and unflinching in its depiction of poverty and desperation. While the story may be difficult to watch at times, it ultimately celebrates the resilience and spirit of those who face adversity with humor and courage.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (8,978)