Original theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Luciano Salce|
|Produced by||Giovanni Bertolucci|
|Written by||Paolo Villaggio
Piero De Bernardi
|Music by||Fabio Frizzi|
|Edited by||Amedeo Salfa|
Along with the first sequel Il secondo tragico Fantozzi, Fantozzi is considered the pinnacle of the series, and it shows the involvement of actors who are likely to come into comic episodes: Plinio Fernando (in make-up in order to act his horrible daughter), Anna Mazzamauro and Gigi Reder, among others. Fantozzi can be seen as symbol of the Italian middle class of the 1970s, unhappy and frustrated at work and with family.
The success of this film and the saga that has generated has remained virtually unchanged among the decades. The film was released on Italian cinemas on 27 March 1975. The song of the closing credits, Fantozzi's ballade, written by Leo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi and Fabio Frizzi, is sung by Paolo Villaggio.
The movie starts with Pina, Ugo Fantozzi's wife, calling the "ItalOilEdilThermoTextilPharmMetalChemical" industry where her husband works, asking to see if her husband is still there since she has not had any news about him for 18 days. They will find out that, for some reason, Fantozzi got stuck inside the sealed walls of the industry's old bathrooms.
Getting to work
In order to get to punch his badge at the 08.30 sharp, Fantozzi, 16 years ago, began setting the alarm clock at 6.15. Today, by dint of experiments and continuous improvements, he has managed to set it at 07:51... that is, the limit of what is humanly possible... Everything is calculated on the edge of the second: Five seconds to regain consciousness; Four seconds to overcome the daily impact of looking at his wife, and six more seconds to ask himself what pushed him to marry that weird sort of pet; Three seconds to drink Mrs Fantozzi's 3000 degrees Fahrenheit coffee! Between eight and ten seconds to cool down his scolded tongue under the tap. Two and a half seconds to kiss his daughter Mariangela; Coffee with simultaneous combing then brushing his teeth with minty toothpaste coffee flavoured, resulting in physiological awakening... performed in the time of six seconds flat; He still has a budget of three minutes to get dressed and run to the bus stop to catch the 08:01. All of this is possible, of course, only without tragic unforeseen circumstances...— Fantozzi's narrator voice.
The first episode shows Fantozzi getting to his office. Fantozzi is due to be late because of one of those "tragic unforeseen" (such as tearing of a shoelace) decides to catch the bus by jumping from his balcony and running for it, dragging all passengers off it as a consequence, all of which chase him in the street to beat him up. Eventually he reaches his working place in an ambulance, signs the release papers with his own blood and runs frantically for the clocking machine with his colleagues urging him on but not allowed to help as he would be then "disqualified". He makes it and then passes out.
In the second part/episode Fantozzi while at the funeral of the mega-president of the industry ("prematurely died at the young age of 126 years"), asks Miss Silvani whether she would like to go out and get a drink with him. She accepts but she ends up getting him into trouble as she picks up a fight with another car as they're heading to the cafe. So Fantozzi gets beaten up as a consequence as they can't take their anger out a woman. His car also gets badly damaged.
In this third part, Fantozzi plays in a football match organised between married and unmarried people from his office, naturally Filini his the perp and organiser. The match is played on a terrible pitch. All players have their own "clerk cloud" following their every move when on holiday. After two Fantozzi's own goal and his mystic vision of St. Peter standing on the crossbar the match eventually get abandoned because of waterlogged pitch, more like the pitch turns into a swamp! The previous game ended with a score of 3 heart attacks to 2 drowning.
In fourth episode, Filini convinced Fantozzi to buy a small motor boat, so the two go on a camping trip near a lake, but first of two police motorcyclists to receive no less than 100 basis lashes each for having wet "the Minister of Petroleum" from an unspecified Arab country on the boat with water discharged from Fantozzi's clerk cloud during the trip. Because of this little "mishap" the two arrive in camp late at night, where they are rebuked by a group of German tourists because they make too much noise downloading tent poles. In an attempt to pitch a tent, planting stakes, Filini pounds unintentionally (in part because of his almost total blindness) twice a finger Fantozzi, forcing him to avoid further reprimands by the Germans, to get away for more than a mile to make a monstrous pain scream. The morning after clumsily trying to fish, eliciting laughter of the tourists come from Germany. During the fishing trip, pulling the power cord of the motor boat, Filini thrown into the water and then Fantozzi make the same with Filini. Following Fantozzi throws first in the lake the engine of the boat is sinking, and then planting in the hull in the water on a flag pole that was intended as a sail. Then they hire a rowing boat with two tons, but by taking a running start to throw the barrel, the lines get tangled and the two are linked at the bottom of the boat. During the day, the heat, they begin to hallucinate: Filini feels like Ulysses and the sirens Fantozzi is kept to her style, "mystical hallucinations" (Jesus walking on the water wondering if we are to multiply bread and fish and complains because the two employees do not have). Very thirsty and dehydrated, the two are also used to be mocked by the cloud that drains the water a few inches from the boat.
In fifth episode, all the company employees' children have to go to the director's office and tell a poem they made up for Christmas. Fantozzi's daughter (Mariangela, "Cheetah the monkey!!"), despite creating a very original poem, will get insulted and made fun of, cause of her terrible ugliness. Fantozzi, realizing what is happening, storms in and just by looking at his supposed "superiors" manages to make them stare down in shame. After wishing them "merry christmas and happy new year" in a scathing tone he leads his daughter away. When she asks him why the people were calling her "Cheetah" he tells her a white lie pretending they were actually comparing her to "Cita Hayworth". This is one of the few episodes where we see the human and moral stature of Fantozzi elevating himself from his servilism.
Happy New Year
Sixth episode. It is New Year's Eve, and Fantozzi goes to a New Year's Eve party with his colleagues. Everything is a disaster: the waiter throws every plate over Fantozzi's dress, he falls through a window during the dance and the band leader rigs the clock (cause he has to go to another party) and runs away at half past ten. At midnight, someone throws a heavy cooking machine over Fantozzi's car, destroying it.
Seventh episode. The new director of Fantozzi's office is the Honorable Cavalier Earl Diego Catellani, Great Master of Commendation Office. He promotes employees who lose a billiard match with him, so Fantozzi's wife asks his husband if he could try, in order to make some career; Fantozzi attends some lessons from an austere night watchman, and accepts Catellani's challenge. Fantozzi is pulled down in the beginning (losing 49-2), but after Catellani the 38th insult from Catellani, he begins a series of extraordinary shots, winning 51-49. Catellani's reaction is violent, but Fantozzi kidnap his old mother and escapes, being loved by his victim.
Eighth episode. Fantozzi and Filini are playing tennis, at 6 AM, in a cold and foggy day. The match results in a disaster, with Fantozzi knocking himself with his pre-industrial tennis racket and Filini fainting after breaking the net.
Dining at Japanese restaurant
Ninth episode. Fantozzi invites Miss Silvani for a dinner in a Japanese restaurant where, for a misunderstanding with a waiter, Miss Silvani's dog is cooked and served as a dish. At the end, his "hacked" suite dress, which slimmed down his fatness, explodes.
Tenth episode. To reconpense Silvani for her dog, Fantozzi is constricted to go with Calboni and her go to Courmayeur for holidays. For the great cold and Calboni's "monstrous lies", Fantozzi is victim of "competitive allucinations" and says he's been a national lever skier (but also he's not skiing from 35 years). Invited to a party, Fantozzi, after drinking two litres of beer, explodes in a powerful burp, which creates an avalanche. After a disastrous skiing session using archaic wooden ski set, returning at the hotel, Fantozzi listens to Calboni and Miss Silvani make love.
The Galactic Megadirector
Last episode. Fantozzi's frustration after knowing about the love affair between Calboni and Miss Silvani leads him to ask for being moved to another office. His new colleague, Folagra, is a Communist who manages to convince him to revolt. So, Fantozzi throws a brick into one of windows of Megaditta, destroying it. The Galactic Mega-Director Duke Earl Balabam invites him in this office: while ascending in the lift, Fantozzi has a punitive hallucination (he sees himself crucified in the canteen room). After some talking with Balabam about politics (Duke Earl defines himself an "average progressive"), Fantozzi returns to be the docile employee he was before. Balabam then shows his office to him, revealing that all "myths & legends" gossips spread by employees are factually true: his chair is made of human leather, and the "aquarium of good employees" really exists. All is forgiven to Fantozzi, who has the "honour" of being in the aquarium in the role of a mullet.