The Organizer (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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In turn-of-the-twentieth-century Turin, an accident in a textile factory incites workers to stage a walkout. But it s not until they receive unexpected aid from a traveling professor (8½'s Marcello Mastroianni) that they find a voice, unite, and stand up for themselves. This historical drama by Mario Monicello (Big Deal on Madonna Street) is a beautiful and moving ode to the power of the people, brimming with humor and honesty. The Organizer (I compagni) features engaging, naturalistic performances; cinematography by the great Giuseppe Rotunno (Amarcord); and a multilayered, Oscar-nominated screenplay, by Monicelli, Agenore Incrocci (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), and Furio Scarpelli (Il postino).
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Top customer reviews
Dating from 1963 it is something of a timepiece, more particularly since it depicts industrial life in Turin around the turn of the 19th/20th century. I'm afraid that my knowledge of Italian cinema is rather scant, and had never heard of the director, Mario Monicelli. More's the pity, since he managed to eschew the typically stylized approach that so many famous Italian directors seem to love. This make the film all the more authentic, with all the industrial brutality of the time perfectly captured.
Mastroianni excels in his role as the "sophisticated" union organizer from outside, who tries his best to instill a sense of solidarity and social justice in the workplace, with all the inevitable consequences that such efforts inevitably entailed.
Although I saw it many months ago, it still remains very fresh in my memory. It's one of those films that acquire a sort of patina with age, and don't really date. Particularly impressive are the factory scenes where one feels transposed to a bygone era, which one hopes, even in the third world, has gone forever.
Overall, an excellent film on human endeavor, beautifully directed and highly atmospheric.
It's an interesting story, well told on a number of levels. A good story about labour-management conflict (almost good enough to use as a training film for unions, with pauses every so often to ask, "Would this be a useful tactic now? Why? Why Not? What other options are available?").
How people learned about folks from other parts of Italy (the Sicilians & Piedmontese blaming each other for each other's woes in their home areas, the Abruzzese soldier saying farmers from home envied factory workers in the north, etc.) was also a good way to remind viewers that Italy is FAR from homogenous.
LOVED the northern Italian accent/cadence/dialect from the actors!
of movies. Comedy italian style:
Real people with real problems
but looking with hope and joy.
And this one you must see it
with your family. And Marcello
was one of the best in the world.