i migliori film di totò

Totò’s Best Movies

Here is a list of Totò’s most famous phrases.

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Totò’s films number 97. The shooting of each film took about 3 – 4 weeks. On average, he made 4 – 5 films a year. There were 42 directors who directed Totò. No fewer than four directors (Mario Mattoli, Camillo Mastrocinque and Steno) directed more than 10 films with the Neapolitan actor.

Totò’s only film with Alberto Sordi is ‘Totò e i re di Roma’.

Totò’s only film with Anna Magnani, historical friend of the Neapolitan actor, is ‘Risate di gioia’ directed by Monicelli.
Totò’s film ‘Guardie e ladri’, with Aldo Fabrizi, was one of the very few films by the prince of laughter to have received praise from film critics. Carlo Delle Piane, who was also on the set of the film, praised the two actors more than once, calling them exceptionally brilliant, because each scene was totally different from the previous one and there was never anything mechanical in the acting.

Totò himself claimed to have made both mediocre and very bad films. He never turned down poor proposals, both because he could not stand idle and out of respect for the misery he suffered in his youth. There is an anecdote that expresses much about his personality: he himself refused when he was offered very lucrative contracts and settled for less. He did this out of respect for the producer; without him, he knew he would never work again and therefore did not want to take away valuable money that would be reinvested by the production in the next film.

One of the most popular couples on the Italian film scene is formed by Totò and Peppino. The first film in which the two acted together was ‘Totò e le donne’, directed by Monicelli and Steno. This film also features his partner at the time Franca Faldini.

It is worth mentioning that Steno’s film ‘Totò a colori’ is one of the very first colour films in Italian cinematography. This very modern film technique required powerful lights on the set. The strong light intensity increased Totò’s vision problems, so much so that he suffered such severe pain that he fainted during filming.

totò a colori, il film

Many of Totò’s films are parodies of genres in vogue in those years: “Totò versus Maciste”, “Che fine ha fatto Totò baby?”, “Totò Tarzan” “Totò versus the Black Pirate”, “Totò and Cleopatra”, “Fifa and Arena”, “Totò in the Moon”. In the giallo-police genre parody ‘Totò diabolicus’, directed by Steno, Totò gives life to no less than 6 different characters.

The most interesting film offers and proposals came for Totò in the final part of his career. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Lattuada and Federico Fellini were interested in him. Unfortunately a film with the latter director was never made, much to the chagrin of Totò who had always nurtured this ambition. With Alberto Lattuada he shot the film ‘La Mandragola’; in this film he brilliantly played the role of a monk.

The most interesting film offers and proposals came for Totò in the final part of his career. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Lattuada and Federico Fellini were interested in him. Unfortunately a film with the latter director was never made, much to the chagrin of Totò who had always nurtured this ambition. With Alberto Lattuada he shot the film ‘La Mandragola’; in this film he brilliantly played the role of a monk.

With Pier Paolo Pasolini he shot the film ‘Uccellacci e uccellini’. Totò did not like the director’s poetics, which relegated him to a closed role with no possibility of improvisation. Even less did he like his character in the film. In spite of this, Totò agreed to act because he was aware of the opportunity: a new role in a particular film that could free him from the sole label he carried with him of ‘prince of laughter’.

Totò's Best Movies

Totò’s films number 97 and identifying the best ones is very complicated. Although critics have almost always criticised him, there are numerous films that are remembered by all.

Here is a list of Totò’s best films.

Totò Tarzan

Parody of the Tarzan films. The protagonist is the son of a rich explorer who was abandoned in the jungle as a child. He is captured by two men and a girl who try to seize the inheritance received from the king of the jungle.

totò tarzan, i migliori fil di totò

Miseria e Nobiltà

Famous Totò film starring Sophia Loren, based on the play of the same name by Eduardo Scarpetta.

Famous is the scene in which Totò, who makes his living as a scribe, puts on paper the words of an ignorant man who, in the end, asks the recipient of the letter for money because he has no money to pay the scribe.

Another famous scene in this film is when Totò climbs onto the table and eats spaghetti with his hands.

miseria e nobiltà, i migliori film di totò

Totò, Peppino e la Malafemmina

The lives of two brothers, landowners, are turned upside down by a letter. The latter informs them that their nephew is not in Naples, studying medicine at the university, but in Milan, because he has fallen in love with a ballet dancer.

The spendthrift Totò, the miserly Peppino and his widowed sister decide to go to Milan. Famous is the scene in which Totò dictates a letter to Peppino, trying to find the right words to convince the dancer to let his nephew go.

This scene has been repeated several times in other films and has influenced more than one sketch. Certainly the most famous is the one in ‘Non ci resta che piangere’, with Massimo Troisi and Roberto Benigni writing a letter asking for clemency from Girolamo Savonarola.

totò, peppino e la malafemmina

La banda degli onesti

The film is considered one of the best films starring Totò and Peppino and consecrated the partnership between the two artists. The film’s plot revolves around the story of a Neapolitan doorman, Totò, who finds himself in possession of some original prints from the Bank of Italy. The protagonist decides to exploit this fortune to print 10,000 lire banknotes, with the help of a printer and a painter, both in debt like himself. The rest of the plot is a succession of misunderstandings and hilarious gags.

manifesto del fil totò e la banda degli onesti

I due marescialli

The film stars Totò and Vittorio De Sica and effectively mixes tragedy and comedy. In the background is the war and the liberation by the Allies. Totò, a petty thief disguised as a priest, and Vittorio De Sica, a Carabinieri marshal, work together to double-cross the Germans. It is worth mentioning that this film was shot with a special film that did not require very powerful lighting; in this way, an attempt was made to lighten Totò’s fatigue due to his eyesight problems.

i due marescialli, film di totò

TotòTruffa 62

Totò and his companion Camillo are two likeable scoundrels who, thanks to their ability to disguise themselves honed over years of hard work in the avanspettacolo, get by on theft and petty deception. All to keep Diana, Totò’s daughter, in a luxurious Swiss boarding school. On their trail, meanwhile, comes Commissioner Malvasia, Totò’s former schoolmate, not at all softened by his friendship with the scoundrel. Things get complicated when Diana falls in love with the commissioner’s son and Totò, at the same time, chooses him as the target of his scams. Among hilarious gags, the scene in which Totò manages to sell the Trevi Fountain to a wealthy American is famous.

totò truffa '62

Signori si nasce

Totò is Baron Zazà, a broke ex-nobleman who continues to live the life of a nabob, living in a hotel, served by his faithful butler, squandering money and courting showgirls backstage at the theatre.

Incited by a creditor, he enacts a deception against his brother, who is dedicated to work and charity.

signori si nasce

I Soliti Ignoti

Mario Monicelli’s masterpiece film, awarded a Silver Ribbon and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. ‘I soliti ignoti’ is based on a novel by Italo Calvino and is the progenitor of the genre based on group theft. Moreover, this film marked the arrival of Italian comedy as a new genre in the film scene. The film began as an early parody of the American gangster genre in vogue at the time, and the subject was inspired by a 1955 French film in which four criminals carry out a robbery that turns out to be a failure.

With Totò there are Vittorio Gassman, Claudia Cardinale and Marcello Mastroianni.

totò e i soliti ignoti

Il Monaco di Monza

Totò and Macario together in this film full of misadventures. The two arrive at the castle of a perfidious marquis and try to rescue the evil character’s widowed sister-in-law, held prisoner in the fortress.

il monaco di monza

Fifa e Arena

Film parody of the well-known film ‘Blood and Bullfighting’. Totò is faced with continuous misadventures that lead him to the Spanish city of Seville and to pretend to be a bullfighter. Here he engages in a hilarious challenge with an authentic matador and contends with the Spaniard for a woman loved by both.

fifa e arena, fil di totò

Totò le Mokò

The whole film unfolds from a basic misunderstanding: Totò earns his living by going around and playing the bass drum behind his back. When his cousin, a notorious bandit, dies, he is offered to lead the band. Will it be the marching band? Will he start a new career as a conductor?

totò e le mokò

Siamo Uomini o Caporali

In this film Totò is a theatrical extra. He ends up in a psychiatric hospital after threatening everyone with death, tired of the umpteenth abuse he has received. Here he recounts what happened to him during the war and in the concentration camp where he was imprisoned.

The corporal, a fascist soldier, is played by Paolo Stoppa.

siamo uomini o caporali, film di totò

Un Turco Napoletano

Totò is unjustly taken to jail. Here he meets a cellmate, endowed with supernatural strength, and together they escape. During their escape the two meet a foreigner of Turkish origin who has to go to Sorrento for work. Totò, urged on by his cellmate, takes possession of the documents, pretends to be the Turkish foreigner and assumes his identity and job. From this point a series of hilarious misunderstandings begin.

un turco napoletano, film di totò

Totò al Giro d'Italia

Totò is a high school teacher. One day he participates as a jury member in a beauty contest and falls in love with a juror. The woman does not correspond to his amorous attentions and, making fun of him, challenges him by saying that she will only marry him if he wins the Giro d’Italia. The professor does not know how to ride a bicycle but for love he is ready to do anything.

Curiosity: this Totò film is the first in which his name appears.

totò al giro d'italia, film di totò

Totò nella Luna

This film directed by Steno is a parody of films about the conquest of space.

totò nella luna, film di totò