Alberto Sordi, Lino Banfi, Guido Nicheli, Jerry Cala, Christian de Sica, Paolo Villaggio: These are some of the names of the most famous stars of Italian cinema who have entertained millions with their popular cult classics.

For those who want to be introduced to the world of Italian movies, or for those who know these films by heart, here is a list of Italian movies to watch if you need a laugh during your Christmas holidays!


 “Il Marchese Del Grillo”

This is a movie directed by Mario Monicelli, set in Rome under the power of the Pope, during Napoleon’s invasion. It’s inspired by folklore of noble Romans skilled in the art of making jokes –   it seems that one Marchese del Grillo really existed!

In this movie, Alberto Sordi plays two roles completely different from each other: the Marquis Onofrio, with his noble Roman etiquette, and Carbonaro Gasperino, a farmer from the countryside. It’s an extraordinary movie, comic but also smart and ironic, with jokes and stories that reflect on human complexity and the magic of Rome.


showimg2Photo Credit: L’Unità


 “Occhio Malocchio Prezzemolo e Finocchio”

This is a cult classic with Lino Banfi and his exaggerated comedy. He tries, awkwardly, to ward off the trouble caused by his neighbor, who is also his daughter’s boyfriend.


“Vacanze di Natale 1983”

Vacanze di Natale 1983  is an absurdist comedy with inevitable betrayals and historical jokes, starring the legendary Dogui (Guido Nicheli), with the beautiful Stefania Sandrelli, the funny Jerry Cala and the spoiled Christian de Sica.


“Belli Freschi”

This time, Christian De Sica and Lino Banfi are a jazz duo looking for success, but after a series of misunderstandings they become wanted by the American police. They end up dressing like females to cover their tracks, to wonderfully tacky and poorly styled effect. This movie is a perfect mix of accents, punchlines, and physical comedy.



bellifreschi_lino_banfi_enrico_oldoini_013_jpg_aiet-700x462Photo Credit: Nuovo Cinema Locatelli


“Fantozzi va in Pensione”

Fantozzi is the main character, a poor ex-accountant who is kind of a loser. He portrays the boredom of being retired with his stupid attempts to look young, forcing himself wearing tacky clothes and ridiculous hair dyes. It’s a way to poke fun at the problems of the working world.


originalPhoto Credit: Sky Cinema


These cult classics are to be rewatched and discovered again. We can laugh at ourselves while watching them, revive a way of life gone by in Italy, and find an irony that we can appreciate with the current bustle of our lives.

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