Synopsis

The story of exploited textile factory workers in Turin, Italy at the turn of the century and their beginnings of their fight for better working conditions. Professor Sinigaglia (Marcello Mastroianni) is sent by (presumably) the Socialists to help them organize their strike and give form to their struggle.

Director

Mario Monicelli

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by john_timo 10 /10

A wonderful film--and Marcello as you've never seen him!

This is one of those great foreign films from the 60's. The plot synopsis may make it sound dismal, but on the contrary it is full of heart and humor. These are real people, with all their quirks and stupidities and rich relationships with one another. There is an accurate, full portrayal of the human condition, and an acceptance of what that means, that is rare to non-existent in movies today.

If you like films that put you into another world for a couple of hours, you've got to see this. The late 19th century Northern Italy textile factory is amazingly realized. The black & white cinematography is gorgeous, and the acting is convincing all around.

Mastroianni is a personal favorite, and this is a terrific role for him: very unlike his usual suave, modern, urban characters.

This film is a masterpiece. It's a shame it is not out on DVD.

Reviewed by ellen-35 10 /10

The best film Marcello Mastroianni ever made

I saw this in theatrical release 40 years ago, and have been longing to see it again. It has long been on my top 10, no, my top "1" list. In my opinion it is Mastroianni's best film, and the most memorable labor film I can recall seeing. MAK-4's comment that this is the movie "Matewan", "Molly Maguires" and "Germinal" tried to be, really nailed it. However, although my 40-year-old impressions are indelible, they are no longer detailed. What a tragedy that "Divorce Italian Style" is available on DVD, and "The Organizer" is not available at all.

Reviewed by KasparM N/A

Underrated Italian Masterpiece

The difference between this film and a lot of other strike/union related films, is that it has a sense of humor and is not taken with its own self importance. As a matter a fact, the film is quite measured and cautious in its outlook. There are no heroics here, everybody is a full fledged human being with his/her weaknesses and strengths. Mastroianni is particularly wonderful here in a very nuanced performance, where he goes from nebbish professor to inspirational and powerful leader in matters of seconds. The script is very strong and Rotunno's cinematography is excellent. Monicelli injects the film with so many details that hit their mark, that he has gone from a very good director to a great one in my estimation. The early scenes at the factory are truly remarkable in a uniquely cinematic way. They hardly contain any dialogue and put you in the workers place in a remarkably efficient way.

Highly recommended.

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