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The Secret of Santa Vittoria

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1 review about The Secret of Santa Vittoria

"What kind of people are you?"

  • Feb 28, 2009
  • by
Bombolini (Anthony Quinn) is Santa Vittoria's resident fool, drunk, and lazy good-for-nothing, but everybody in town loves him. He becomes the new mayor just as the Germans are coming to occupy the village and confiscate over a million bottles of wine. Bombolini comes up with a plan to hide most of it, but will everyone keep the secret?

This drama with comedic elements has a lot going for it, especially Anthony Quinn in a happy-to-lucky role similar to his in "Zorba the Greek"  with the wonderful Anna Magnani playing his long-suffering wife. Their scenes are wonderful, full of earthy charm and raucous energy. Handsome Hardy Kruger plays the German captain who tries to find the wine; he's quite charming but his playfulness and non-violent approach to war are a bit hard to believe. Virna Lisi gives a solid performance as a troubled, snooty Countess who catches the captain's eye.

The movie, unfortunately, is too long by half, with the first hour moving at a snail's pace, and the energy fades when Quinn isn't on the screen. Still, I liked it a lot because the characters are real and endearing and the message of solidarity is a good one. Nicely photographed in Italy.
DVD cover Magnani and Quinn

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The Secret of Santa Vittoria
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