Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) Photos

Movie Info

This bizarre drama chronicles the strange activities of a family of mad epileptics and their blind mother, and of the terrible effects they have on the one healthy member of their clan, Mase. The young man really wants to get married, but he refuses to put his wife in the midst of his strange, tumultuous clan. His younger brother, Castel, understands his plight. To free his older brother, Castel decides to kill the rest of the family. Then Mase can have the inheritance and marry. After the killings, Castel retires to his room. As he listens to a series of operatic arias he has a severe seizure. The only one left to help him is Pitagora who refuses to assist.


Lou Castel
as Alessandro
Marino Masé
as Augusto
Stefania Troglio
as Chambermaid
Gianfranco Cella
as Young Man at the Party
Celestina Bellocchio
as Young Woman at the Party
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Critic Reviews for Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca)

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

It is sealed and stifling, gray and extremely powerful-about as attractive as somebody coughing wretchedly beside you on a subway. And as insistent.

July 15, 2006 | Full Review…

Still a shocking, forceful film, and it seems every bit as alive today as it must have in 1965.

April 27, 2006 | Full Review…

It somehow manages not to be a shocker, a clinical study or like an American TV soap opera despite its story line dipping into all those areas.

April 27, 2006 | Rating: A | Full Review…

bracingly raw

April 23, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

Shot impeccably by Alberto Marrama and dipped in hushed Ennio Morricone lullabies, the film's visual intensity presents the iconography of a world in transition.

April 12, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca)


Very interesting film. Quirky, yet chilling and at times very intense. At first you feel that Alessandro is only trying to help his older brother (the most "stable" fammily member) out and free him from his burdensome family obligations, but as the film progresses it becomes less clear as to what his motive is. Lou Castel does a wondeful job at keeping you guessing. Ultimately a very sad (but interesting) look at what has to be one of the MOST dysfunctional familes ever put to film.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer


This film is a selection from the Criterion Collection, Spine No #333. Like all movies in the Criterion Collection it is far from what is seen on the big screen in America. If you enjoy films that are somewhat different then I recommend that you venture in to this collection of over 400 plus films from some of the greatest directors in the world. This is about a young man who has seizures and has a sister, a mother who is blind, and a brother who is also handicapped, He wants to take the burden off his normal brother so he starts eliminating family members one by one. A 3 1/2 star performance.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


What an awesome and twisted debut film!!! Dark, subversive, and a scathing indictment of bourgeois family values. Family dynamics don't become more dysfunctional than this. Lou Castel's performance as the anti-hero is unforgettable. The camera-work in this film dramaticlly diverges from neo-realism, forging a new language in Itailian cinema.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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