JOYFUL LAUGHTER “Artistically, Totò comes from futurism, from Gustavo De Marco, the
On New Year’s Eve, Gioia Pennicotti, a Cinecittà extra known as
Tortorella, is invited to dinner by a group of acquaintances who, since
there were thirteen of them, wanted to avoid that unlucky number.
But when the arrival of other dinner guests makes her presence
superfluous, in order to avoid being alone, she decides to go away with
an old friend of hers, Umberto Pennazzuto, a talentless former actor
who makes ends meet as the lookout for the thief Lello. Tortorella
gets a crush on Lello, but winds up by mistake in prison in his place.
She realizes that the one who truly loves her is good old Umberto.
first comedian-marionette: Totò was his pupil. He had an extraordinary
comic talent, surreal and abstract, even today it’s still very modern.
Later, Steno and I came up with the idea of making his comedy more
social, more contextualized, in order to pull him out of his metaphysical
abstraction, which we thought might limit his popularity. And this
might have been a mistake because he could have done them both.”
“Artistically, Totò comes from futurism, from Gustavo De Marco, the
Mario Monicelli (Viareggio, Lucca, Italy, 1915) debuted as a director in 1934 with the short Cuore rivelatore and directed his first feature film, Pioggia d’estate, in 1937 as Michele Badiek. He co-wrote and directed numerous films with Steno, including Totò Looks for an Apartment. In 1958, he won a Nastro d’argento for Best Screenplay for Persons Unknown and the following year shared the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for The Great War. He has made over sixty films and has worked with Italy’s most famous actors and actresses, like Sordi, Totò, Mastroianni, Gassman, Tognazzi, Volonté, Loren, Vitti and Magnani.
Cuore rivelatore (cm, 1934), Pioggia d’estate (1937), Totò cerca casa
(coregia/codirector Steno, 1949), Guardie e ladri (coregia/codirector
Steno, 1951), Totò e Carolina (1955), I soliti ignoti (1958), La grande guerra
(1959), Risate di gioia (1960), I compagni (1963), L’armata Brancaleone (1966), La ragazza con la pistola (1968), Brancaleone alle crociate (1970), Romanzo popolare (1974),Amici miei (1975), Un borghese piccolo piccolo (1977), Il Marchese del Grillo (1981), I picari (1988), Parenti serpenti (1992), Panni sporchi (1999), Le rose
del deserto (2006), Vicino al Colosseo c’è Monti (cm, doc., 2008).
dai racconti/from the short
stories Risate di gioia e/and
Ladri in chiesa di/by
Suso Cecchi d’Amico,
Agenore Incrocci, Mario
Monicelli, Furio Scarpelli
interpreti e personaggi/
cast and characters
Ben Gazzara (Lello)