Luigi Zampa


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

6.5 L'Onorevole Angelina (1947)
6.5 Vivere in Pace (1947)
6.5 Anni Difficili (1948)
6.8 The City Stands Trial (1952)
6.5 Anni Facili (1953)
6.5 L'Arte di Arrangiarsi (1954)
6.0 Il Vigile (1960)
6.0 Roaring Years (1962)
6.5 Una Questione d'Onore (1966)
6.0 Il Medico della Mutua (1968)
7.0 A Girl in Australia (1971)
6.5 Il Mostro (1977)
Links:

If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me. L'adesione al neorealismo dell'ex-commediografo Luigi Zampa avvenne con un bozzetto umoristico ed umanitario Vivere in Pace (1947), ambientato durante l'occupazione in un villaggio montano (una famiglia nasconde un soldato negro ferito e quando il gerarca tedesco lo scopre riescono a fargli credere che la guerra sia finita, persino con celebrazioni in paese; appena l'equivoco viene chiarito, devono scappare e finiscono sotto i colpi di una pattuglia tedesca), mentre con il pamphlet civile, populista e pittoresco, a lieto fine L'Onorevole Angelina (1947), storia di una popolana (Anna Magnani) che guida i miserabili del suo rione alla ribellione contro gli speculatori edilizi, Zampa opto` subito per la commedia.

Anni Difficili (1948) sposto` il baricentro verso la polemica e la satira (un impiegatulo deve iscriversi al partito fascista per non perdere il posto, ma caduto il regime viene licenziato proprio per essersi tesserato, e proprio dal superiore che lo aveva costretto) e inauguro` la proficua collaborazione fra il regista e lo scrittore Vitaliano Brancati. Dopo la parentesi favolistica del "Zavattiniano" E` piu` Facile che un Cammello/ Twelve Hours to Live (1950), risurrezione di un avido ricco che deve compiere la buona azione necessaria per evitare le pene dell'inferno, la corruzione del regime democristiano e` l'oggetto anche del piu` rigoroso Processo alla Citta`/ The City Stands Trial (1952), film giudiziario nel quale l'investigatore, seguendo le tracce di una associazione mafiosa, risale ad insospettabili collusioni politiche (non a caso, sceneggiatore Rosi).

Il secondo atto della trilogia comico-grottesca di Brancati, Anni Facili (1953), la storia di un emigrato siciliano che con l'onesta` non ottiene nulla, anzi, perde il posto, e appena prova a rubare finisce in galera, e` un'altra pungente satira dei vizi italiani del dopoguerra: la corruzione cliente barista dei burocrati romani e i rigurgiti mafioso-fascisti.

Conclude il trittico di Brancati L'Arte di Arrangiarsi (1954), con Sordi mattatore nella proverbiale parte dell'italiano piccolo borghese, arrampicatore nato, che passa indenne attraverso fascismo, guerra e repubblica grazie alle dote di "arrangiarsi".

Il Magistrato (1959)

Anche dopo la morte di Brancati il film di Zampa si sono mantenuti entro il filone d'impegno civile senza rinunciare all'humour di fondo, un genere preparato dalla satira di Il Vigile (1960) e da Anni Ruggenti/ Roaring Years(1962), in cui Manfredi (sulla falsariga del "Revisore" di Gogol) viene inviato con innocui compiti in un paese del Meridione ma, scambiato per un gerarca si trova al centro dell'attenzione sproporzionata di terrorizzati imbroglioni e speculatori, che culmina in commedie all'italiana per Sordi che sono altrettante macchiette grottesche, soprattutto Il Medico della Mutua (1968), su un dottore arrampicante che eredita i mutuati di un collega deceduto seducendone la vedova, e Bello Onesto Emigrato Australia/ A Girl in Australia (1971), la sua migliore tragicommedia.

Amedeo is a humble and lonely middle-aged Italian worker in Australia who suffers from epileptic fits. He has been trying for years to find a mail bride. The local priest tells him that he needs a better photo of himself because girls always fall in love with the other man in his photo, his playboy friend Giuseppe. Amedeo instead comes up with a different plan. When a new girl shows up in the mail, Carmela, he sends her the photo of Giuseppe, betting that this will convince her to take the airplane; and then he hopes to seduce her once she is in Australia. Unbeknownst to him, Carmela is a prostitute who is trying to run away from her violent pimp. She manages to board the airplane in her sexy prostitue outfit and changes in the plane to respectable clothes. When she arrives at the airport, on a flight that is full of mail-order brides like her, Amedeo is reluctant to set his plan into motion but eventually he does. Carmela grew up in the gutters and reacts rudely when he introduces himself as Giuseppe, a friend of Amedeo, sent by Amedeo to pick her up. She is disappointed to see his car, an old run-down convertible. And she is shocked to learn that the trip from the airport to Amedeo's town will take several days (and nights). Amedeo takes a very long detour through the beach and the jungle, hoping that she will fall in love with him during the trip. Day after day, Amedeo tells her the story of his life, a life of hardship and hard work. One day is has an epileptic fit, and they are thousands of kilometers from nearest doctor, who has to be flown by helicopter. He takes a further detour to visit his best friend who is hospitalized for the brain damage caused by malaria and who doesn't recognize Amedeo. Then Amedeo's car breaks down and they try in vain to sell it to drunk people. Instead some drunks try to kidnap Carmela but crash the car and Carmela is not injured. They take a train to continue their journey but Amedeo has another epileptic attack. As Carmela is looking for help, in a country that doesn't speak her language, she gets stranded at the train station while the train leaves. She has to prostitute herself to get the money to take the following train. Amedeo is desperately waiting for her at a station. Throughout the trip Amedeo has tried in vain to seduce Carmela, who showed no physical attraction for him and little interest in his life, and even pulled out the knife when he tried to hug her: he is old, ugly, poor and sick; not what she left Italy for. They finally reach the last city before Amedeo's remote town. There Amedeo, skeptic that she would ever love him, introduces Giuseppe as Amedeo, and Carmela is pleased to meet a handsome gentleman who takes her to a nice apartment; except that the apartment is located in the red-light district. Giuseppe is trying to pimp her as a prostitute. Upon learning of Giuseppe's evil plan, rushes to the red-light district and cries when he sees Carmela (whom he thinks is a respectable woman) sold as a prostitute. At the same time Carmela realizes what is going on, that she left prostitution in Italy to become a prostitute in Australia, and blames Amedeo for her situation. She stabs him with her knife. The pimps of the red-light district quickly load them in a taxi that takes them away before the police can investigate what happened. They take the train to his remote town but Amedeo also shows her the money to go back to Italy if she so desires. Now Carmela confesses that she was a prostitute in Italy and she cannot go back because her pimp would kill her. Amedeo is shocked to learn that the woman of his dreams is a whore and starts screaming. She is crying that she has been trapped in a horrible situation. He is crying that his mail bride lied to him and is a whore. Nonetheless, the very lonely Amedeo decides to forgive her, and minutes later he introduces her to passengers who know him, all of whom are impressed by her beauty. The train arrives at Amedeo's small town, population 15. The whole town is waiting at the tiny station to welcome Carmela. When Carmela sees that this is no city, just a hole in the middle of nowhere, she refuses to leave the train. Amedeo needs help from his friends to pull her down onto the sidewalk and force her in front of the welcome party. She grudgingly follows him to his house. The train leaves and we see Amedeo who is carrying his bride into the house. Paradiso australiano, smascherato come meta` inferno materiale (la foresta tropicale in cui gli emigrati hanno perso la salute per costruire la strada) e morale (l'organizzatissimo quartiere delle prostitute); sono due esseri soli, due falliti bisognosi di una casa; lui e` patetico e comico nella sua timidezza e goffaggine, ma non meno lo e` lei, che pensava di aver trovato sicurezza e tranquillita`: una baracca nel deserto e` la sua nuova casa. (...farse centrate sull'arte di arrangiarsi...)

Zampa parallelamente si avvantaggia di alcune prove drammatiche sulla falsariga di Processo alla Citta`: da Una Questione d'Onore (1966) a Bisturi - La Mafia Bianca (1973), da Gente di Rispetto/ The Flower in His Mouth (1975) a Il Mostro (1977).

Zampa died in 1991.

What is unique about this cinema database