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The Hawks and the Sparrows

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7.3/10 Letterboxd

Genre  Comedy, Drama
Screenplay  Pier Paolo Pasolini
Country  Italy
7.5/10 IMDb

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Director  Pier Paolo Pasolini
Music director  Ennio Morricone
Language  Italian
The Hawks and the Sparrows movie poster
Release date  4 May 1966 (1966-05-04)
Writer  Dante Ferretti (screenplay), Pier Paolo Pasolini (screenplay), Pier Paolo Pasolini (story)
Cast  Totò (Frate Cicillo), Ninetto Davoli (Frate Ninetto), Femi Benussi, Renato Montalbano
Similar movies  Related Pier Paolo Pasolini movies

A man (Toto) and his son (Davoli Ninetto) take an allegorical stroll through life with a talking bird that spouts social and political philosophy.


The Hawks and the Sparrows movie scenes

The Hawks and the Sparrows (Italian: , literally "Ugly Birds and Little Birds") is a 1966 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie is a post-neorealist story about Toto, the beloved stone-faced clown of Italian folk-stories.

The Hawks and the Sparrows movie scenes Ennio Morricone Scuola di ballo al sole Uccellacci ed Uccelli

Hawks and Sparrows (Italian: Uccellacci e uccellini) is a 1966 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.


The Hawks and the Sparrows movie scenes  Neither a hawk nor a sparrow but a left wing intellectual raven

Toto and his son Ninetto roam the neighbourhood and the countryside of Rome. During their walk they meet a talking crow, who, as seen on the intertitles, "Per chi avesse dei dubbi o si fosse distratto, ricordiamo che il Corvo e un intellettuale di sinistra – diciamo cosi – di prima della morte di Palmiro Togliatti" ("For the benefit of those who were not paying attention or are in doubt, we remind that the Crow is a – to so call it – left-wing intellectual of the kind of those living before Palmiro Togliattis death").

The Crow tells them the tale of Ciccillo and Ninetto (still played by Toto and Ninetto), two Franciscan friars, who were bid by St. Francis to preach to the hawks and the sparrows. After many months, they succeeded in preaching the commandment of love unto the species separately, but were not able to get them to love each other.

After the tale, the journey of Toto and Ninetto carries on, the Crow still following them and continuously speaking in an all-too-intellectually sounding way. They meet many other people in a deeply visionary setting, among which: land-owners who order them out of their land and end up shooting at Toto and Ninetto who wouldnt obey; a family living in a slum that Toto threatens to drive them out of their house; a group of travelling actors who persuade the pair to push the groups Cadillac for them; an event, "1° convegno dei dentisti dantisti" (a wordplay, literally "1st convention of the Danteist (ie, scholar of Dante) dentists"; an engineer who is waiting for Toto to give him the money he owes him. After that, a brief extract of news footage of the funeral of Palmiro Togliatti, the long-time leader of the Italian Communist Party. Then, after having met a prostitute, they end up killing and eating the Crow, whom they found to be unconscionably boring.

Pasolini declared that Uccellacci e uccellini was his favourite film, as it was the only one that did not disappoint his expectations.

Ennio Morricones opening theme music comically features Domenico Modugno singing the movies credits in mock-operatic fashion, along with a few illustrative sound effects (i.e. a bird whistle for the title, laughter when Morricones name is mentioned).

Art historian David Gariff notes that the composition of some of the scenes is visually similar to famous Italian paintings. The beauty of Ninetto Davoli is also shown with similar facial expression and lighting to angelic depictions.


  • Toto – Innocenti Toto / Brother Ciccillo
  • Ninetto Davoli – Innocenti Ninetto / Brother Ninetto (as Davoli Ninetto)
  • Femi Benussi – Luna, the prostitute
  • Francesco Leonetti – The Crow (voice)
  • Gabriele Baldini – The engineer
  • Riccardo Redi – The dentist dantist
  • Lena Lin Solaro – Urganda, the unknown
  • Rossana di Rocco – Friend of Ninetto
  • Umberto Bevilacqua – Incensurato
  • Renato Capogna – The medieval rude fellow
  • Vittorio Vittori – Ciro Lococo
  • References

    The Hawks and the Sparrows Wikipedia
    The Hawks and the Sparrows IMDbThe Hawks and the Sparrows Rotten TomatoesThe Hawks and the Sparrows IndieFlixThe Hawks and the Sparrows LetterboxdThe Hawks and the Sparrows

    Similar Topics
    Dante Ferretti
    Femi Benussi
    Ninetto Davoli