This rollicking World War II comedy, based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crichton, is a satirical look at life in Italy under the occupation. Following the fall of fascism in 1943, the bumbling, blustery peasant Bombolini (Anthony Quinn) is installed as mayor of the small village of Santa Vittoria (one constituent whose respect he doesn’t have: his strong-willed wife, played by Magnani). At first, the not-so-bright Bombolini seems like a lame-duck politician. But when the Nazis march into town, he mobilizes the citizens to protect Santa Vittoria’s most precious asset: its copious supply of wine. Beautifully shot on location outside Rome, The Secret of Santa Vittoria combines suspense and humor in a spirited ode to resistance. 35mm print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive.
This film has no current screenings