Sevening at 9.30pm on Rai 1 the film airs The De Filippo brotherswhich tells the story of the childhood, growth, ups and downs of Eduardo, Peppino and Titina De Filippo. Three brothers who spent their lives for art, despite the difficulties they faced. A piece of Neapolitan theater history that has left a profound mark on Italian entertainment.
The De Filippo brothersthe plot of the movie
In the early 1900s in Naples the young Luisa De Filippo (Susy Del Giudice) raises her three children alone: Titina, Eduardo and Peppino. The biological father is the great Eduardo Scarpetta (Giancarlo Giannini), but the actor has no intention of acknowledging them. He considers them illegitimate children, although he provides for their maintenance and education. In his opinion, the only one worthy of collecting the inheritance is his other son, Vincenzo (Biagio Izzo).
Despite reluctance on their father’s part, all three they approach the world of theatre. The one who stands out is Eduardo (Mario Autore), who immediately shows a particular talent both as an actor and as a playwright. And his father doesn’t accept kindly. In fact, he does everything he can to oppose it.
In 1925, when Scarpetta died, the brothers realized that they had received nothing as an inheritance. They work hard to survive as best they can. Each of them, however, continues to orbit the art world. Peppino (Domenico Pinelli) acts in local companies. Eduardo joins Vincenzo’s company. While Titina (Anna Ferraioli Ravel) marries the actor Pietro Carloni (Francesco Maccarinelli): hThey have a son and they perform together in variety shows and vaudeville shows.
Eduardo goes to Milan, but shortly afterwards returns to Naples
Shortly after, however, they feel that they are not completely free. They decide to found their own company, the De Filippo brothers. The conditions are good, but the conflicts take over. Rivalries and clashes arise. Titina is accused of not representing the canons of the attractive woman, while Peppino does not accept Eduardo’s protagonism. In the end, the project fails and everyone goes their own way.
Eduardo he leaves Naples and heads for Milan, where he joined a company. He proposes to Peppino to follow him, but his brother decides to stay in Naples and takes his place in Vincenzo’s company. A setback that Eduardo will struggle to forgive even later.
Time passes. Peppino highlights his talent and success also comes for Titina: she enchants Totò. And while a positive moment begins for the brothers, Eduardo encounters several obstacles. Crushed by the Milanese disappointment, returns to Naples. He doesn’t give up and stages a different world from Scarpetta’s. It wants to represent the beauty and tragedy of Neapolitan society. With the aim of inducing reflection through laughter.
The De Filippo brothers and Christmas at the Cupiello house
Once again, he suggests that the brothers get back together. They write Sik-Sik, the magic maker, a one-act opera that is performed and gets good reviews. A new page opens. Peppino gets engaged to Adele (Marianna Fontana), Titina’s sister-in-law. Eduardo marries Dorothy Pennington (Jennifer Bianchi) a charming American girl.
The internal disagreements within the De Filippo-Scarpetta family have not been completely resolved. He continues the rivalry with Vincenzo who manages to prevent the brothers from being hired in local theaters. Meanwhile the three they go on tour to Sicily, but get terrible results. The public does not appreciate their writing and they are forced to cancel several dates. Once again, they find themselves without a penny.
The love for the stage continues to live in Eduardo, who writes Christmas at the Cupiello house. The project also requires the collaboration of Peppino and Titina. They were hired by the Kursaal Theater in Naples. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they go into debt just to not let it slip away. Vincenzo is aware of his brothers’ talent, but is driven by envy. And, instead of finding a common ground, he continues to chase the contrast.
The success of the trio and the ending of the film
Peppino becomes a father and, when his son Luigi is born, Vincenzo proposes that he abandon Eduardo and Titina to join his company. When Eduardo learns of the proposal, the hatred towards his half-brother reignites. The relationship becomes even more tense on December 25, 1931.
The De Filippo brothers are busy with the debut of the new comedy. An argument breaks out and Peppino decides to abandon. A moment before saying goodbye to everything they have built, she thinks better of it and goes on stage. Christmas at the Cupiello house gets applause from the audience and that evening marked the beginning of an extraordinary career.
A path that saw the De Filippos working side by side until 1944, when yet another argument between Eduardo and Peppino spells the end for the common project. Titina instead continues to work with Eduardo. Peppino goes to the cinema. And Eduardo… becomes the immense Eduardo De Filippo.
The De Filippo brothersfilming and awards
Directed by Sergio Rubini, the film was released in cinemas in 2021. Filming took place largely in Naples. The scenes set in the theater were filmed at the Sannazaro Theater in Naples, but the troupe also married elsewhere. In particular at the Gribaldi Theater of Santa Maria Capua Vetere and at the Giuseppe Verdi Municipal Theater of Salerno.
In particular, he has received many awards 6 nominations for the David di Donatelloincluding best supporting actress for Susy Del Giudice. VictoryInstead, it went to Nicola Piovani with the Best Musician categoryalso awarded at the Nastri d’argento for best soundtrack.
Among the nominations for the Nastri, the one for best director and best supporting actress for Rubini and Anna Ferraioli Ravel respectively.
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