FA6302 I basilischi / The Basilisks

01 Main Info


Lina Wertmüller


Antonio Petruzzi, Stefano Satta Flores, Sergio Ferranino




September 2, 1963 (Italy)


85 minutes


Ennio Morricone










(original title) I basilischi, The Lizards, The Basilisks
France Les Basilischi
Italy I basilischi
Poland Bazyliszki


MP4 615M 78'09" B&W Reading resources Librrary-A

02 Information

This Italian film is the debut work of the famous Italian female director Lina Wertm ü ller (1928-2021). Wittmaller was the most politically minded and anti traditional member of the second generation of directors after the war - the direct successor of New Realism. Many of her films were characterized by bizarre and overwhelming social satire, and she was also one of the first female directors to receive international recognition and praise. The title of 'I Basilischi' refers to the habit of the protagonists lazily lying in the sun all day - like lizards - with virtually nothing else to do: no work, no money, no future, reflecting the prevailing social state in Italy at that time. This is a very low-cost film, because it was difficult for a woman to shoot a film in that era, but this film won many international awards, including the Silver Sail Award at the Locarno Film Festival and a total of 14 awards. Many of her films have broken Italian box office records for foreign releases and earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Director - the first woman to be named after this category. In October 2019, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 92nd Academy Awards. This film is also one of the soundtracks written by Morricone before his early fame. He portrays the lives of these young men and women in a dead end with satirical way, creating beautiful and unforgettable music. Even in the music "Provincial" Sminfa "(010158-010415) of this movie, we can easily hear traces of the theme" Cheyenne "that appeared in the movie" The West "five years later

03  About the film
Plot 1:In a small village in the South of Italy Antonio, a young Law student and the son of a notary, spends his long days with his friends Francesco and Sergio. Those three are both intolerant and part of the underdeveloped mentality of the village. They wonder about, try to flirt with girls, fight with their parents, think about the things they don’t do and dream romantic and imaginative love adventures. The same old stories in the same old places. They are surrounded by a lifeless reality, only shaken by a few “events” which seem such big news: a wife leaving her husband and a woman who commits suicide because of family reasons. A great opportunity knocks on Antonio’s door: he goes to Rome with his relatives and there he would have the chance to change, to break with the hesitation and apathy of his ordinary existence. But once he gets back, it is like nothing ever happened. He comes back to his regular life (Here)

Plot2 The neorealistic story follows the uneventful lives of Francesco, Sergio, and Antonio, three young men who live in a small, poverty-stricken village. Since all three are unemployed, they while their time away roaming the streets and chasing girls. One day Antonio's aunt asks him to stay with her and his cousins in Rome. He accepts her offer and enrolls at a university in Rome, leaving his two friends behind to envy him for his new upscale lifestyle. But eventually Antonio returns to the village, initially just for a day. Though he boasts about his life, he never goes back to Rome and instead opts for his friends and the place he grew up, despite all its shortcomings (IMDB)

Plot 3 (Comment): The Basilisks has an unusual narrative structure, broadly following the lives of members of a community in a hilltop town, without much attempt at a narrative arc. The major theme seems to be that most men and women lead lives of silent frustration. It is in a sense a political movie, but in an undogmatic way. The inhabitants are trapped by the attitudes and customs of the time and place, and although they loll in front of panoramas and walk down streets of picturesque buildings there is always a faint sadness in everything. A whole clutch of characters cross the screen, but three male friends get particular attention, Antonio is a good-looking though unambitious student, Francesco an apathetic landowner and tentative lover (in a town where women are comedically unavailable), and Sergio a sad-eyed prematurely balding schoolteacher, who sits out youth without pleasing the eye of any young lady. This film does however have its fleeting joys, a child dancing in a piazza, the synchronised glancing of the "cousins", and certainly the occasional narration from Enrica Chiaromonte, an underemployed actress of the Italian cinema, with a marvellous, conspiratorial yet loving voice, playing the character of Maddalena. Chiaromonte was a philosophy graduate of the University of Pisa and a schoolteacher of history and philosophy, a multitalented lady. In the end Wertmüller's cinema is gentle and inclusive, aided by a sympathetic Morricone score.

The film is worth comparing to I Vitelloni, Fellini's third feature film from a decade before. In Italian that title refers to the calves that are fattened to be turned into veal, and also refers to young slackers from middle class provincial families. That movie also features a group of young men struggling to escape a certain dreary stranglehold. In that sense The Basilisks is not particularly original, but it's certainly beautiful and I prefer it to I Vitelloni overall (IMDB)


000033 The main characters: Antonio at the top left, Francesco at the bottom left, Sergio at the bottom right

I basilischi / The Basilisks
I basilischi / The Basilisks
I basilischi / The Basilisks

000527 After lunch, almost everyone in the town was taking a nap

I basilischi / The Basilisks

000815 The cultural club, which ceased operation in 1944, was re announced and the chairman delivered a speech·

I basilischi / The Basilisks

001508 Three friends of Antonio, Francesco and Sergio strolled in the street

I basilischi / The Basilisks

001848 Francesco pursues Anna on the street

I basilischi / The Basilisks

002246 Antonio is reviewing his lessons at home, and the heavy workload of his studies is causing him a headache

I basilischi / The Basilisks

002908 A barber who made a living in Rome returned to town from Rome and met three of them to inquire about the reason

I basilischi / The Basilisks

003247 Antonio was reprimanded for asking his father for money to watch ballet

I basilischi / The Basilisks

005047 One day, an aunt Maria who had driven over from Rome and hadn't seen her in 15 years came to town to visit them

I basilischi / The Basilisks
005656 Auntie takes Antonio to Rome

I basilischi / The Basilisks

010123 The pharmacist's daughter-in-law, a ballet dancer, is dissatisfied with their living conditions and runs away from home

I basilischi / The Basilisks

010929 People continue to talk about establishing cooperatives
I basilischi / The Basilisks
011130 The pharmacist's mother committed suicide by jumping out of a building due to discord between her mother-in-law and daughter-in-law

I basilischi / The Basilisks

011311 On a thunderstorm day, Antonio returned from Rome

I basilischi / The Basilisks

011437 Antonio talked to his friends about life in Rome

I basilischi / The Basilisks
001721We hardly do anything, "" That's it, our lives have passed away. "Perhaps this is the theme of the" I Basilisci "movie?
I basilischi / The Basilisks

04  Music Comment

An Italian neo-realist drama written and directed by Lina Wertmüller, I Basilischi is a story about disaffected youths in post-WWII Italy, trying to come to terms with life, love, death, sex, boredom and the realities of becoming an adult. The film, which has been described as an Italian version of American Graffiti, stars Antonio Petruzzi, Stefano Satta Flores, and Sergio Ferranino; the title refers to the habit the main characters have of simply lounging around in the sun all day – like basilisks – with literally nothing else do to: no jobs, no money, no future. It’s one of the first ‘serious’ films Morricone scored, and can almost be seen as a companion piece to the music composers like Georges Delerue were writing for similarly-themed New Wave films in France around the same time. Morricone frames the dead-end lives of these young men and women with an almost satirical edge, writing music which is beautiful and haunting, juxtaposing against the hopelessness of their realities. The main theme, “Canzone,” is an elegant, slightly introverted sounding piece for solo guitar, framed by swooning strings, and a repetitive light chime effect. The best release of the soundtrack is the version which came out in 2014 on the GDM Music label, which pairs around 22 minutes of score from I Basilischi with selections of music from the score for the 1964 film Prima Della Revoluzione. Again, “Canzone” can be found on the comprehensive 15-CD compilation Ennio Morricone: The Complete Edition, released by GDM Music in 2008.

Track Listing: 1. Cantata Basilisca (2:39), 2. Pomeriggio in Paese (3:21), 3. Sminfa Paesana (2:58), 4. Canzone (5:11), 5. Ora Incantata (3:01), 6. Il Tangone (4:39). GDM Music 4333, 21 minutes 49 seconds. (Here)

05 OST (Composed by Ennio Morricone)





Cantata Basilisca (The Lizard Song) 02:39 Lyrics By - Lina Wertmüller Vocals - Fausto Cigliano


Pomeriggio In Paese (Afternoon In The Village) 03:21


Sminfa Paesana (Provincial "Sminfa") 01:18


Canzone (Song) 02:46


Il Tangone (The "Tangone") 02:31 Trumpet [Soloist] - Gastone Parigi

More Detail >>>>>>

Attachment: Selected soundtrack albums for this video


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