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Scipione detto anche l'africano 1971
Description: Years after the Second Punic War, Scipio Africanus finds himself generally unliked, despite his conquer of Hannibal Barca. He and his brother, Scipio Asiaticus, are accused by Marcus Porcius Cato of the theft of 500 talents intended for Rome.
Released: 10 Sep 1971 Director: Luigi Magni Writers: Luigi Magni (screenplay), Luigi Magni (story) Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Silvana Mangano, Vittorio Gassman, Ruggero Mastroianni Genres: Comedy, History
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Scipione detto anche l'africano Reviews:

Such a courageous film, so full of history and culture but filtered through the irony of the centuries. The eternal ugly side of politics reflects itself on the mirror of the past, with the bitterness of Scipio, the cynicism of his brother Lucio, the moral (and physical) beauty of his wife Emilia (Silvana Mangano), the stern but utilitarian morality of Cato, the indifference of the Gods, while the roman ruins of the scenery, and the modern language (roman dialect in the original) of the characters (splendid all the actors),demonstrate that past is present. Forty years old, this film keeps being a excellent metaphor not only of the current Italian case but of the human factors, tragedy and comedy together. For refined palates.


This semi-historical talkathon about the Ancient Roman fighter Scipio Africanus is an attempt at an intimate 'anti-epic' in the style of Pasolini's Medea or Oedipus Rex. If nothing else, it reminds us just how inspired those another movies are. Shooting in the deserts of Morocco or Eastern Turkey, Pasolini makes us feel his camera has somehow time-travelled back to Antiquity - and the storyline he says has the intensity of Greek tragedy or primal myth.In the far-less-gifted hands of writer-director Luigi Magni, we receive a bunch of big-name actors standing round in cut-price togas. All of them seem to wonder just what they are doing there, and whether or not they can be bothered to stay. Most ludicrous are the authentic Roman ruins that stand in for sets. Did nobody mission out that these were NOT ruins at the time the storyline takes place, but fresh and glittering triumphs of modern architecture?A pity, because the cast is highly skilled. A bald Marcello Mastroianni tries difficult as Scipio, Silvana Mangano looks predictably stunning as his wife and Vittorio Gassman is brilliantly slimy as his arch-enemy - the wily, cat-loving statesman Cato. The struggle between Scipio and Cato (i.e. between military force and civilian government) is as relevant today as it was when it happened. You can hear the same debate any night on the evening news...


Much too hard to be totally grasped by not Italian-mother-tongue folks ... I'm scared I don't accept with the main review by the Scottish fellow. Things are quite various from what appear to be, although I can understand the mission of view of a non Italian ... This movie is not so much about an episode in Roman history, as it is indeed about life and folks themselves ... All over the globe and all along times ... Here, the figure of Scipio is one that entails all boys with an unbreakable ideal in their mind and his war vs a globe of common folks hopelessly prone to daily trivialities ... It is a storyline about the impossibility for the soon to comprehend the former, and about inevitability of disenchantment of this heroic figure, as he expects gratitude and respect for his out-of-the-ordinary deeds ... Even the role of his wife Emilia (well performed by Silvana Mangano) is there to underline the fact that Scipio was a trouble even before his conquests, in his family relations, and afterward he became a trouble to all Romans at huge ... There are two connections to Greek tragedy as well in the "narrating" roles of Giove Capitolino (Turi Ferro) and Licia (Wendy D'Olive) ... Which represent the ideals of the mythological Rome of the Fathers; both of which - in the end - can't support but see Scipio go away and give up his home city with sadness and dismay ... I've watched this movie each time it was broadcast by the TV, and I gotta admit that I myself was disappointed originally, because of some apparent approximations - like for instance the improbable aforementioned ruins - and mostly for the test in dialogues of show Roman slang ... But indeed this is an issue: The end of the heroes - like Scipio and Cato himself - didn't preserve the republic in the end and even today - in our show republic - we can see the same misery in human behavior; the ruins where already there in those times and were the ruins of humanity and decency; the test of Roman slang is the metaphor of the language of the resentful people, nice only at talking about miserable things ... Scipio went to fight to save his homeland and their national pride ... high-minded and ready to victory or die for Rome ... But on his return, he found a various country; one without anymore fear and ready to live a quiet life in freedom and safety: NO MORE HEROES NEEDED ! Scipio learns the truth only thanks to a cruel outburst by Emilia, that clarify things to him. Then he goes to Senate and falsely confesses any type of misdeeds ... This is the main point, in which a very cryptic (for non Italians) dialect exchange of lines explains why all that fuss was required ... Scipio and Cato are finally aware - in personal - of being probably the only two honest boys in Rome, but nobody has to know ... for the sake of the Republic (in which everybody is - and gotta be - equal) ... the only necessary thing to be protected ...*** PS. Much too hard to be totally grasped - in the original release - by not Italian-mother-tongue folks ... Not even to mention it, in a dubbed version! ...



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