March on Rome (film)

March on Rome
(La marcia su Roma)
Directed by Dino Risi
Produced by Mario Cecchi Gori
Written by Age & Scarpelli, Sandro Continenza, Dino Risi, Ghigo De Chiara, Ruggero Maccari
Starring Ugo Tognazzi
Vittorio Gassman
Music by Marcello Giombini
Cinematography Alfio Contini
Edited by Alberto Gallitti
Distributed by Lux Film (Dino de Laurentiis)
Release dates
Running time
94 min
Country Italy
Language Italian

March on Rome (Italian: La marcia su Roma) is a 1962 comedy film by Dino Risi with Vittorio Gassman and Ugo Tognazzi, aimed at describing the March on Rome of Benito Mussolini's black shirts from the point of view of two newly recruited, naïve black shirts.

The movie's main theme is the gradual betrayal of all the promises of the National Fascist Party: the two gradually tick all the main points of the fascist program as described on a propaganda flyer every time they are contradicted by practice. In its early stages fascism was a radical republican movement, suspicious of large businesses, nobility and the Catholic Church (Mussolini himself had been a socialist early in his career, being cast out of the Italian Socialist Party when his nationalism grew more and more pronounced). When arriving in Rome, and having ticked them all off, they leave the fascist party in the moment of its victory.

Plot summary

The film is set in Italy in 1922. Two friends returning from the First World War, Rocchetti and Gavazza, join the Fascist Party in Milan. While the latter is an opportunist, the former is a catholic who is persuaded by his friend to join the party, and is convinced by the revolutionary program issued in Piazza San Sepolcro. In October, the two friends join a group of Fascists marching to Rome to take, but during the trip Rocchetti, seeing the behaviour of the fascist officials and the forces which help the party, gradually gives up his hopes about the fascist revolutionary program. When Rocchetti finally tries to escape, he is beaten almost to death. Fortunately Gavazza saves him, and runs away with his friend. However, the March on Rome is made, and the two friends cannot help but watch in silence as the political change happens. The last scene of the movie portraits King Victor Emmanuel III watching from the balcony of the Quirinal Palace the fascists: he tells to the great Admiral Thaon di Revel that he is willing to "test the fascists for some months".



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