Guglielmo il dentone – William “Il Dentone” (Luigi Filippo D’Amico – 1965)

These days YouTube is overflowing with rare cinematic gems like this short film by Luigi Filippo D’Amico Guglielmo il dentone, which is part of a triptych film named I Complessi with the other two shorts directed by Dino Risi and Franco Rossi. I searched for the other two on YouTube, with no luck.

That said, this short is a feast for all the Alberto Sordi fans out there coupled with 60’s film celebrities who played themselves, such as TV producer Lelio Luttazzi, composer Armando Trovajoli, actress Gaia Germani among others.

The story takes a hint from today’s reality shows, but in fact is a job interview for a RAI TV news anchor – a critical position as the person will appear daily in front of 50 million italians. After most candidates failed the rigorous, and I’d say comical tests – two candidates are left. The super photogenic Francesco Martello, played beautifully by Franco Fabrizi. He comes with contacts as his girlfriend is actress Gaia Germani (playing herself). And Guglielmo Bertone, played by the amazing Alberto Sordi.

il dentoneAlberto Sordi, as Il Dentone

To make the match more interesting, Sordi is no doubt the better skilled candidate; he easily pronounces tough tongue twisters such as “Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa. (“On the bench the goat lives, under the bench the goat dies”, he finishes writing an essay in less than hour out of the five hours allotted and outfoxes the committee with his geography knowledge. His only flaw is his scary physique – his exaggerated teeth that earns him the nickname “Il Dentone.”

The seven-member committee in charge of the selection is at complete loss how to tell “Il Dentone” why he won’t pass the screen, even though his other skills are superb. The episode for writing the essay reminded me of similar one used at 1961’s Il Posto – The Job by Ermanno Olmi. Same facial anxiety descends on all candidates, except one who also finishes first to the grand annoyance of the struggling others.

You can watch the complete film below (37 minutes). Unfortunately there are no English subtitles, but now that you have the context it’s easy to get a good flavor of this classic Italian comedy.

[youtube width=”615″ height=”514″][/youtube] The complete film – enjoy!


By Shlomi Ron

Visual marketing guy with a penchant for fine Italian cinema.

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