The Organizer

  • 1964
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A coproduction of several companies, this powerful labor film won a number of awards, including four at the Argentina Film Festival in 1964, and a nomination by the Academy for Best Screenplay. Workers are toiling an ungodly number of hours at a Turin textile plant in the late 1800s. A worker is hurt because of his weariness, and three of his fellows (Tonelli,...read more

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A coproduction of several companies, this powerful labor film won a number of awards, including four at the Argentina Film Festival in 1964, and a nomination by the Academy for Best Screenplay. Workers are toiling an ungodly number of hours at a Turin textile plant in the late 1800s. A

worker is hurt because of his weariness, and three of his fellows (Tonelli, Lulli, and Blier) approach the company's bosses for some relief; but Sanipoli, the foreman, spurns them. The workers plan to retaliate by leaving work an hour before quitting time. Lulli gives the order, but Sanipoli won't

let the workers go, and Lulli is rewarded for his attempted rebellion by suspension from his job without pay for a fortnight. The workers turn to Mastroianni, a professor who has come to stay in Turin with his pal, Perier, a schoolteacher. Mastroianni has made some political noises and is in

semihiding, but he surfaces long enough to help the workers plan a strike. The bosses agree to lift Lulli's suspension and rescind any fine, but that's all they'll do, so the strike takes place. Management calls in the goons, but the angered workers meet the scabs at the train station, and

violence follows during which Lulli is killed. Newspapers get the story and make it a cause celebre. Then the commissioner of the Turin police force tells the scabs that they must leave the city before any more deaths occur. Management, realizing that Mastroianni is behind the uprising, uses

coercion to get the police to arrest the professor. He escapes the long arm of the law by staying with Girardot, a local lady of the evening. Sanipoli manages to talk Blier into going back to the mill for the good of all. At that, Mastroianni emerges from Girardot's apartment to make an

impassioned speech that galvanizes the other mill employees. As one, they descend on the factory, where they are met by waiting soldiers who fire on the workers, killing a young teenager. Mastroianni is taken in by the police, and the workers go back to their labors. In the end the workers' plight

seems the same, but they have made their presence felt, and unionism is the next step. Excellent film with good performances, although 20 minutes could have been cut out easily. Directed by the man who did what may be the best Italian comedy ever, BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A coproduction of several companies, this powerful labor film won a number of awards, including four at the Argentina Film Festival in 1964, and a nomination by the Academy for Best Screenplay. Workers are toiling an ungodly number of hours at a Turin text… (more)

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