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Bombolini is a fairly worthless drunk in the small Italian town of Santa Vittoria in the closing days of World War II. When word comes that the Fascist government has surrendered, he climbs a water tower to tear down the flag. He can't get down and someone gets the crowd to chant his name to give him confidence. The Fascist town council hears this and believes that he is the town's new leader. They surrender to him and make him the new mayor. He rises to the occasion and when he finds that the Germans plan to occupy his town and take their wine (over a million bottles) he works out a plan to hide it.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Santa Vittoria is a real life municipality in Matenano, Italy. It is a commune in the Province of Fermo which is located in the wider region of Marche. Santa Vittoria is situated around 20 km northwest of Ascoli Piceno and around 70 km south of Ancona. See more »
When Tufa the deserter, meets Caterina after being released by the Germans, Caterina places the bread knife parallel to the side of the cutting board. Next shot, the knife is away from the cutting board with the blade pointing away from the cutting board. See more »
It's nice to have a hot meal before you die.
You aren't going to die.
I'm the mayor, no? The Germans come. I greet them. They threaten me! I spit in their face! They put a pistol to my head and blow out my brains!
Why would they put a pistol to your head? The whole world knows Bombolini's brains are in his ass.
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I never tire of seeing this film with its repeated line, "There is no wine" from Bombolini. Anthony Quinn shows his comedy character acting skills as he acts in scenes with wife, daughter and the town council. He acts the hero when is is "interrogated" by the tough guys. The only time I find fault is when he throws himself to the ground and acts the imbecile - not part of Bombolini as a character I think.
It must be said, however, that Hardy Kruger as the German commanding officer of the troops who come to occupy the town and steal its wine, is the perfect choice. Eventually he leaves town after the population have foiled his efforts to take the precious wine stocks. He turns to them in defeat, "What kind of people are you?" During the process of transporting the wine via a chain of citizens to the cave the camera shows many local faces that are utterly convincing. They are lived in, hard worn, determined faces of people who will not be beaten.
For anyone seeking to visit Santa Vittoria when in Italy - don't expect to see street scenes that you remember. They used another nearby town, whose name escapes me, for the location. However, I understand the extras were all local people.
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