I Quattro Tassisti – The Four Taxi Drivers (Giorgio Bianchi – 1963)

I 4 tassistiWith 2015 coming upon us, I figured there is nothing like rewinding the clock back to this 1963 quaint cinematic gem to usher the New Year.

Once upon a time there were 4 taxi drivers…This charming film brings four short films – urban fables if you will – that each captures a different human aspect of taxi driver life.

Ions before reality TV will recognize the vantage point taxi drivers have on the stream of life and people, Director Giorgio Bianchi, who started his career as an actor in the silent movie era in the 1929 – delivers four poignant stories that offer another facet to Italian comedy (Commedia all’italiana) genre. You can see sample movies I reviewed here.

The first episode, “Lo sposo” (The Groom), features the street smart Filomena (Didi Perego) that drives Baldassarre Boldrini (Gino Bramieri) a groom on his way to his wedding. The dialog and the facial expressions of Boldrini, a grown up that in essence is still a mammone (mummy’s baby), contrasted with Perego sharp-tongue assertive style – creates ample funny moments.

The second episode, “Un’opera buona” (Nice Piece of Work), takes a different angle around the themes of seduction, sin, and honor that lurk a sweaty Neapolitan driver, performed by the great Peppino De Filippo as Pasquale Scognamillo. The episode title I bet refers to his client, the beautiful nun (Graziella Granata) that boards his taxi.

The third episode, “Caccia al tesoro” (The Treasure Hunt), offers a view to the social boundaries taxi drivers operate under. Pomilio Barone (Erminio Macario) drives a tipsy high society client in his cab as part of a treasure hunt game around Torino. The driver gradual involvement in the game, from enabler to participant – is emotionally charged.

The final episode, “L’uomo in bleu” (The Man in Blue), focuses on another giant legend Aldo Fabrizi , as Sor Gigi the taxi driver that an escaping criminal (Gianrico Tedeschi) happens to board his cab.

All four episodes demonstrate how a taxi cab is a prime setting for growing conflicts, and unlikely combinations – that help drive the comic stories forward.

From all of us at cafe Pellicola we wish you an epic 2015 with lots of new movies to discover and appreciate.

By Shlomi Ron

Visual marketing guy with a penchant for fine Italian cinema.

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