The Little Devil

The Little Devil
Directed by Roberto Benigni
Produced by Mauro Berardi
Mario Cecchi Gori
Vittorio Cecchi Gori
Written by Giuseppe Bertolucci (story)
Vincenzo Cerami
Roberto Benigni
Starring Walter Matthau
Roberto Benigni
Music by Evan Lurie
Cinematography Robby Müller
Edited by Nino Baragli
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
October 14, 1988
Running time
110 min.
Country Italy
Language Italian and English

The Little Devil (original Italian name Il piccolo diavolo) is a 1988 Italian film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, also starring Walter Matthau, Stefania Sandrelli, Nicoletta Braschi and John Lurie. In some European countries and in Australia, an English version of the film, with local subtitles, has been screened and circulated in VHS. In the English version, the voices of the main actors are dubbed by themselves; some scenes may have been filmed in both languages.


In the North American Pontifical College, in Rome, Father Maurice (Walther Matthaw) is in deep turmoil because of Patricia (Stefania Sandrelli), a woman who loves him and expects him to make up his mind and clear out his position towards her. While he is trying to do so, he is summoned by a novice for an emergency. The emergency turns out to be a fat woman possessed by a demon. Father Maurice performs the rite of exorcism and expels the demon from the woman. The demon (Roberto Benigni), a little escaped devil named Giuditta, having nowhere else to go, starts following Father Maurice everywhere and often indulges in mischief getting Maurice in trouble. In one instance Giuditta replaces a sick Father Maurice in Mass, turning the solemn ceremony in a beauty parade. Maurice tries to get rid of Giuditta in several failed efforts. Showing signs of exhaustion, his peers advise him to take a vacation. Eventually another agent "from where Giuditta came from" appears as Nina (Nicoletta Braschi) and manages to attract Giuditta who finally leaves Maurice and follows her "elsewhere".



Roberto Benigni won the David di Donatello Award for Best Actor.

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