Fantozzi (film)

Fantozzi is a 1975 Italian satirical cult film, based on 1970 novel of the same name in the saga of the unlucky Italian clerk Ugo Fantozzi, written and played by his creator Paolo Villaggio.

Original theatrical release poster
Directed byLuciano Salce
Produced byGiovanni Bertolucci
Written byPaolo Villaggio
Leo Benvenuti
Piero De Bernardi
Luciano Salce
StarringPaolo Villaggio
Gigi Reder
Liù Bosisio
Anna Mazzamauro
Music byFabio Frizzi
CinematographyErico Menczer
Edited byAmedeo Salfa
Distributed byCineriz
Release date
Running time
103 minutes
  • 98 minutes (cut edition)

The film is a parody of middle class workers of the 1970s, unhappy and frustrated at work and with family, and is known for its use of surreal humor and for several scenes which have entered popular culture.

The success of this movie rendered it a cult film that topped IT box office on sales for eight months. In the decades since its release, the film's reputation has remained almost unmutated, launching Paolo Villaggio's career. Its success led to a franchise of nine sequels, from 1976 to 1999.


In the prologue, miss Pina Fantozzi calls "ItalPetrolCementThermoTextilPharmMetalChemical" holding (simplified as "Mega-Company") where her husband works, demanding news of her husband since she hasn't had any news from him in eighteen days: Fantozzi is casually found walled into the company's old bathroom. Nobody in this time lapse had any idea where he was.

Going to work

In order to get to punch his badge at 08:30, 16 years before Fantozzi began setting alarm clock at 06:15. Today, after continuous experiments and improvements, he manage to set it at 07:51: the limit of humanly possibilities. Everything is calculated on the edge of seconds: 5 seconds to regain consciousness; 4 seconds to overcome impact of seeing his wife, and 6 more seconds to ask himself -as always with any plausible answer- whatever pushed him to marry that kind of pet; 3 seconds to drink Mrs Fantozzi's coffee: 3000 °F ! From 8 to 10 seconds to cool down his burned tongue... 2.5 seconds to kiss his daughter Mariangela; brioche and Latte meanwhile hair brushing, brushing teeth with coffee-flavoured minty toothpaste, resulting in an instantaneous bowel movement... all of this performed in 6 seconds, a European Record! He still has a 3-minute fortune to get dressed and run to the bus stop to catch the 08:01 bus. Of course, this is possible without tragic unforeseen circumstances...

Fantozzi's narrator voice.

The first episode shows Fantozzi's morning routine to go to work; he is bound to be late because of one of those "tragic unforeseen circumstances", so he decides to catch the bus "in the gliding way", by jumping from his balcony to the street and waiting for it.[1] Running frantically towards the clocking machine, with his colleagues urging him on (though he's not 'helped' as he would be then "disqualified" just like marathon man Dorando Pietri). He makes it and then passes out.

Miss Silvani

Miss Silvani is a Fantozzi colleague and impossible love. In an occasion, while attending megacompany's president funeral ("prematurely died at the young age of 126 years"), Fantozzi asks Miss Silvani out for lunch. She accepts, but Fantozzi ends up getting into trouble as, while he's at the wheel of his tiny bianchina she picks up a fight with the driver (a rageful Fidel-like thug) of an Opel Kadett. Fantozzi gets beaten up, and his car badly damaged.

Football match

In this third part, Fantozzi plays in a football match between married and single men, on a terrible pitch. All players have their "clerk cloud" (evil personal clouds who persecute them in holidays, raining uninterruptly). After two Fantozzi's own goal and a "mystic vision" of Saint Peter (who caught Fantozzi when is in harsh troubles), the match eventually get abandoned because of waterlogged pitch, that turns more like a swamp.


In fourth episode, Filini convinced Fantozzi to buy a small motor boat for a camping trip near Bracciano, but they cause an accident again the Minister of Petroleum from an ignote african country, being punished in loco: 100 lashes with leather baldrics. After this little "mishap" the two arrive in camp late at night, where they are rebuked by a group of German tourists. In an attempt to pitch a tent, planting stakes, Filini pounds unintentionally (surely for his almost total blindness) twice a finger Fantozzi, forcing him to run away very far away to scream monstrously in order to avoid reprimands by German tourists. The morning after clumsily attempts to fish, 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: under a burning heat, begins hallucinations: Filini feels like being Ulysses, while Fantozzi dreams of Jesus walking on the water wondering if we are to multiply bread and fish and complaining because they don't have. Very thirsty and dehydrated, the two are also mocked by the "clerk cloud" that drains water far from them.


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 will get insulted for her terrible ugliness. Fantozzi breaks in and shame his "superiors" manages, however wishing them "merry christmas and happy new year". Questioned why she was called "Cheetah", Fantozzi tells her a white lie pretending they were actually comparing her to "Cheetah Hayworth". This is one event where human and moral stature of Fantozzi elevate him from his servilism.

New Year's Eve

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: a troublesome waiter throws every plate over Fantozzi's dress, he falls through a window during the dance and the band leader rigs the clock (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.

Snooker match

Seventh episode. Fantozzi's new director, Honorable Knight Earl Diego Catellami, is a billiard enthusiast who is known to promote employees who lose against him. He also forces his underlings to worship a statue of his old mother. Hoping for a career advancement, Fantozzi undergoes billiard training, in order to make his eventual defeat look credible. Catellami challenges Fantozzi to a game of five-pin at his house. Fantozzi initially underperforms on purpose, much to the amusement of his boss and the other connivent colleagues. Motivated by the grief of his own wife witnessing his humiliation, Fantozzi reveals his master skills and defeats Catellami in extremis. The director is enraged, so Fantozzi abucts Catellami's mother, demanding a huge ransom yet abandoning the old woman who has fallen in love with her captor.

Tennis match

Eighth episode. Fantozzi and Filini enjoy a tennis match, at 6 AM in a freeze and foggy day: every other time slot is reserved to high-noble persons. The match ends disastrously, with Fantozzi knocking himself and Filini fainting after breaking the net.

The Japanese restaurant

Ninth episode. Fantozzi invites Miss Silvani in a Japanese restaurant where, for a misunderstanding with a waiter, Miss Silvani's dog is cooked and served as a dish. Japanese culinary uses are badly shown and received from both two: rice instead of bread, a primitive Sashimi fished at the moment from restaurant's aquarium and two tough Samurai guards punishing clients for every mistakes.

The trip on Alps

Tenth episode. Forgiveness from Silvani (for the "killed" dog) forces Fantozzi to follow her on Courmayeur with Calboni. Caused by cold and Calboni's "monstrous lies", Fantozzi falls to "competitive hallucinations" and claims he has been a national lever skier (informing also he's not been skiieng from 35 years). Invited to a party, Fantozzi, after drinking two litres of beer, explodes in a powerful burp causing a terrible avalanche. After a disastrous skiing session using archaic wooden ski set, Fantozzi is humiliated noting Calboni and Miss Silvani in love.

The Galactic Mega-director

Frustrated and heartbroken, Fantozzi is granted a request to move to another office. His new officemate, a staunch communist, indoctrinates Fantozzi with marxist theories, eventually turning him against Mega-company, whom Fantozzi now regards as a privileged and exploitative elite. After smashing a window, Fantozzi is summoned by the Galactic Mega-director, the highest authority in the company. Using his condescending political rhetoric and deceptive displays of clemency, the director persuades Fantozzi to return to his docile and humble self, convincing him of a somewhat divine nature of the higher corporate ranks. In return for his act of contrition, Fantozzi is allowed to touch the director's chair made of human leather and to swim in his personal aquarium, where selected faithful employees replace fish.


  1. This scene is a critic to abusivism and Condonation as that street, built next next to houses and palace, seems so "handy" as is reachable from houses' balconies above it
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