One of the rare films in which football and Italian cinema happily meet
Totò is fantastic in a complex role that switches between tenderness and cynicism
Although a matter of some national importance, the relationship between football and Italian cinema has always struggled to get going. Apart from a few notable exceptions, with this film being one of them. It is a likeable portrait of provincial Italy that plays with both the ball and our emotions. Above all else, it is the presence of Totò that stands out: while not the protagonist of the film, every time he walks on screen his greatness towers above everyone else. As the president of Cerignola Football Club, he gives a nuanced performance that is a mix of tenderness and gruff stubbornness, generosity and cynicism. A performance remembered by Alberto Sordi when he becomes the President of Borgorosso Football Club.
Baron Luigi Fontana, the president of Cerignola Football Club, wishes to sell two players to a club belonging to an industrialist from Milan. The fact that his daughter is in love with one of them does nothing to soften his resolve. But a national match will change his mind.