The style called “Italian Commedia” was born in Italy during the fifties and evolved until the end of the seventies. The name of this style is inspired by one of his most successful films Divorce Italian Style by Pietro Germi.
This genre is characterized by the creation of brilliant comedies, where however the simple humor is replaced by a satire on the habits and customs of the Italian post-war society. It is a satire characterized by a substantial bitterness, a “committed” satire, which conceals, but at the same time reveals, a profound criticism of the Italian society of the time.
The Italian comedy is not a light and disengaged comedy similar to that of the so-called “pink neorealism”, but it is a comedy inspired by neorealism, proposing a narration of themes adhering to reality, ironically treated to develop a critical satire on the evolution of Italian society in those years.
The economic boom, social achievements, the change in mentality and customs, the birth of a new relationship with power and religion, the search for new forms of economic and social emancipation, in the world of work, of the family and in marriage, are the themes that are traced in films belonging to this genre.
Among the most discussed topics, there is a critique of institutions, bureaucracy, the north and south, the persistence of poverty and marginalization in spite of the economic revival: these issues are always treated in an ironic key
This genre then combines comic and dramatic elements, dealing with themes of social and political interest with an ironic tone, exposing the contradictions of the country and its citizens.
This style also incorporates the need for authors to detach themselves from neorealism, which although it was probably “the Italian style” of excellence, placed too many limits on the creativity of the directors.
So they return to use the studios of Cinecittà, the parts in the films are entrusted to professional actors, which determine the success of this style, the topics dealt with are more current, but above all, the directors abandon the typical pedagogical and dramatic narration of neorealism.
These changes were greatly appreciated by the Italian public who returned en masse to cinemas to enjoy fun movies that always kept a critical reflection of reality
After many great successes, the Italian comedy began to decline towards the end of the seventies, both for the disappearance of those actors and directors who had decreed their success both, and above all, for the change in socio-economic and political conditions of Italy of the time. The progressive exacerbation of the social and political clash in Italy in the seventies, with the irruption of terrorism, the economic crisis, and a widespread sense of insecurity, ended up in fact to extinguish the ironic smile of the Italian Commedia at the beginning, to be replaced by an increasingly harsh and dramatic vision of reality.
Among the first most famous works of this kind we mention:
I soliti ignoti, 1958, di Mario Monicelli , Il vedovo, 1959, di Dino Risi , Il vigile 1960, di Luigi Zampa, Divorzio all’italiana, 1961, di Pietro Germi, La ragazza con la valigia, 1961,di Valerio Zurlini, Il sorpasso, 1962, di Dino Risi , nIeri, oggi, domani 1963, di Vittorio De Sica, Il boom, 1963, di Vittorio De Sica, I compagni, 1963, di Mario Monicelli, I mostri, 1963, di Dino Risi, Sedotta e abbandonata, 1964, di Pietro Germi, I complessi, 1965, di Luigi Filippo D’Amico, Dino Risi, Franco Rossi, Signore & signori, 1965, di Pietro Germi, Made in Italy, 1965, di Nanni Loy, La ragazza con la pistola, 1968, di Mario Monicelli, Il medico della mutua, 1968, di Luigi Zampa In nome del popolo italiano, 1971, di Dino Risi, Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore 1972, di Lina Wertmüller, Pane e cioccolata, 1973, di Franco Brusati, Amici miei, 1975, di Mario Monicelli