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Fists in the Pocket - Criterion Collection
Fists in the Pocket - Criterion Collection
Actors: Lou Castel, Paola Pitagora, Marino Masť, Liliana Gerace, Stefania Troglio
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
UR     2006     1hr 45min

A dark and perverse portrait of family dysfunction, Fists in the Pocket stunned moviegoers and critics alike when it arrived on the scene in 1965?the feature debut of a then twenty-five-year old Marco Bellocchio. This awar...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lou Castel, Paola Pitagora, Marino Masť, Liliana Gerace, Stefania Troglio
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Creators: Alberto Marrama, Marco Bellocchio, Anita Cacciolati, Silvano Agosti, Enzo Doria
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/25/2006
Original Release Date: 05/27/1968
Theatrical Release Date: 05/27/1968
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A forgotten gem that packs a wallop
S. Kelly | Gainesville, FL United States | 05/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film, "Fists in the Pocket", is virtually forgotten here in the U.S., but is a huge cult classic in Italy. The reasons for this are that it's never really been available here on video. And ,it was so ahead of its time that it shocked audiences when it first came out. However, even though it's forgotten, it is an excellent film.

It concerns a strange bourgouise family living in a rural villa together. There is the "normal" but self absorbed oldest brother, a blind mother, a VERY weird middle brother (a brilliant Leo Castel), a manipulative sister, and a retarded youngest brother. In lieu of a (absent) father, the oldest brother is the patriarch of this eccentric clan, and somewhat tied down by it. The weirdo middle brother, Allesandro (Castel), is a hell-bent, anarchal/suicidal/homocidal maniac with epilepsy who decides to rub out the whole family, including himself, to "free" the older brother he claims to admire so much. Thus begins a disturbing, frenzied journey by him to kill his other family members.

As dark as it sounds, which it is, it's also quite darkly humorous at times, as well. It's also easy to see why it was controversial in 1965: there are murders, hints of incest, sacriligious blasphemies, the two oldest brothers sleep with street walking prostitutes ( who are a constant presence in the film), there are eplileptic seizures shown, etc.. Basically, it has all the elements that would've gotten you condemned by the Catholic church at that time.

Director Marco Bellochio made a stunning debut with this film, and it is reminiscent of the early works of Pasolini, Bertolucci, and other Italian new wavers of the time. Definitely worth seeing.

The Criterion Collection has done a wonderful, as usual, job here. The print is sterling, the sound perfect, and there is a great retrospective piece with interviews by Bellochio and Leo Castel (who reminds me of Brando). And there is a wonderful afterword by Bernardo Bertolucci. I do highly recommend this one."
Still a Bombshell
Randy Buck | Brooklyn, NY USA | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Any film that managed to anger equally the Vatican and Luis Bu?uel must be worth checking out -- and FISTS IN THE POCKET had that distinction upon its initial release. Unlike many scandals of a previous day, however, this spare, beautifully made film has lost not one whit of its power to shock. Bellochio makes an impressive debut as writer/director here, and a marvelous cast, headed by Lou Castell, create a family of fools, freaks and monsters you won't soon forget. Brilliant cinematography, wonderful early score by Morricone (who'd think it possible to ring yet another change on the DIES IRAE?), and the expected sharp transfer and informative extras/liner notes from Criterion. Difficult, spiky and essential viewing for any fan of Italian cinema."
Brilliantly symbolic work
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 02/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An epilectic family is the perfect foil for this poignant study of italian bourgeois society.. Like Renoir's rules of the game, this movie opened up new doors for cinema and found new ways to look at certain aspects of social milieu..
Amongst the italian new wave and classic neo-realism of the period it takes a new route something which is real and yet unreal.. Like the movies of Pasolini and bertolucci, Bellochio's fists in the pocket would honor italy's cinematic past while doing something new and radical.."