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The Secret of Santa Vittoria

Where to Watch The Secret of Santa Vittoria

PG-13
1969

The Secret of Santa Vittoria is an enthralling comedy-drama film from 1969, directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Hollywood heavyweight Anthony Quinn alongside the formidable talents of Anna Magnani and Virna Lisi. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crichton, the movie is a poignant yet soothing blend of emotions set against the backdrop of World War II, never allowing its war-drenched context to overshadow its humanistic traits and the inherent spirit of resilience that forms its core.

The story unfolds in the idyllic, fictitious Italian town of Santa Vittoria. The town, known for its exquisite wine production, suddenly finds itself in turmoil following Italy's surrender during World War II. The residents are in fear of an impending German occupation, and the likely seizure of their precious wine stock, a source of pride and mainstay of their economy.

Anthony Quinn, portraying the character of "Italo Bombolini," a liquor-loving town buffoon, finds himself unexpectedly thrust into the role of Mayor following the dismissal of the previous Fascist-controlled town council. Despite his initial reluctance and doubts cast by the townsfolk, Bombolini assumes his unexpected responsibility with a fierce determination to protect his town and its beloved wine; his resolve becomes the only barrier between the thirsty German army and the town’s million bottle wine reserve.

Anna Magnani plays the role of Rosa, Bombolini's fiery and outspoken wife who despite her bursts of temper, harbors an intense love for her husband. Rosa’s character provides intense emotional counterpoints and often serves as Bombolini's moral anchor while amplifying the comic element inherent in their relationship dynamic.

Virna Lisi, known for her captivating beauty, plays a pivotal role as Caterina Malatesta. Her charisma and acting prowess serve to magnify the complexity and authenticity of the narrative while adding a layer of intrigue to the storyline.

The film embraces a fascinating spectrum of emotions, each painted skillfully through its storyline, direction, and masterful performances. It effortlessly melds drama, comedy, and romance, in a backdrop boiling with political tensions, making it a film of significant contrast yet striking harmony.

The movie’s narrative moves seamlessly between light-hearted comical exchanges, intense scenes of fear and uncertainty, to deeply dramatic moments of human compassion and resolve. The story is heartfelt and inspiring, and its characters brilliantly true to life - earnest, flawed, humorous, and wonderfully resilient. The film also paints a splendid panorama of Italian passion, culture, and affability, providing a rich visual and cultural treat for viewers.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria showcases an unforgettable performance by Anthony Quinn, whose charismatic charm, comic timing, and dramatic depths breathe life into Bombolini's change from a town fool to an endearing hero. Anna Magnani and Virna Lisi, likewise, shine in their respective roles, with performances that strike a fine balance between drama and sentiments of love, fear, and hope.

With its captivating narrative, remarkable performances, and engaging direction, The Secret of Santa Vittoria offers a unique blend of humor and drama. The movie explores the human spirit’s triumph amid adversity, creating a truly memorable cinematic experience. Stanley Kramer excellently uses the medium to illuminate the core values of courage, tenacity, and unity, all while unperturbedly maintaining the film's integrity as a comedy-drama.

The movie does not just tell a World War II story from the perspective of a small Italian town and its wine. It tells a more profound story of human emotions, desire, love, fear, suffering, and triumphant will. The Secret of Santa Vittoria is a celebration of the human spirit, and it heroes the everyday man, painting a vivid picture of heroism and endurance that remains unforgettable.

Even though it is set within one of the darkest periods in human history, The Secret of Santa Vittoria rarely allows the terror of war to intrude upon the lives and spirit of Santa Vittoria’s inhabitants. Instead, it focuses on their bravado and unity, subtly displaying that even in times of immense danger and despair, hope, humor, and comradeship can persist.

In summary, The Secret of Santa Vittoria is much more than a 1960s World War II movie. It is an engaging, poignant, and inspiring tale that guarantees a riveting experience for cinephiles. It is a testament to the indomitable human spirit weaved into an engaging narrative of love, fear, humor, and most importantly – wine.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria is a Comedy, Drama, War movie released in 1969. It has a runtime of 139 min. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3..

How to Watch The Secret of Santa Vittoria

Where can I stream The Secret of Santa Vittoria movie online? The Secret of Santa Vittoria is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, FuboTV, Google Play, Vudu, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent The Secret of Santa Vittoria for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.3/10
Director
Stanley Kramer
Stars
Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi, Hardy Krger, Sergio Franchi
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