World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Secret of Santa Vittoria

The Secret of Santa Vittoria
original film poster by Bob Peak
Directed by Stanley Kramer
Produced by Stanley Kramer
Associate producer
George Glass
Written by William Rose
and Ben Maddow
Based on the novel The Secret of Santa Vittoria 
by Robert Crichton
Starring Anthony Quinn
Virna Lisi
Hardy Kruger
Sergio Franchi
and Anna Magnani
Music by Ernest Gold
Cinematography Giuseppe Rotunno, A.S.C.
Edited by William A. Lyon, A.C.E.
and Earle Herdan
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • October 29, 1969 (1969-10-29)
Running time
139 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6.3 million[1]
Box office $2.7 million (US/ Canada rentals)[2]

The Secret of Santa Vittoria is a 1969 film produced by screenplay by Ben Maddow and William Rose. It was based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crichton. The music score was by Ernest Gold and the cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.

The film stars Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi, Hardy Kruger, and Sergio Franchi. It also features Renato Rascel, Giancarlo Giannini, and Eduardo Ciannelli; with Valentina Cortese making an uncredited appearance. It was almost entirely shot on location in Anticoli Corrado, Italy (near Rome).

The world premiere was held in Los Angeles, USA on October 20, 1969. Television coverage included a special split-screen selection during The Joey Bishop Show. Army Archerd, Regis Philbin and Buddy Hackett interviewed Stanley Kramer, Anthony Quinn, Virna Lisi, and Sergio Franchi from Los Angeles.[3] The premiere was held to benefit the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center, with Gregory Peck as chairman. The event ended with a celebration at the Century Plaza Hotel.[4]

This was selected as the opening-night film for the 13th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival. The festival ran from October 23, 1969 until November 2, 1969.[5]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Awards and nominations 4
  • The Secret of Santa Vittoria on Turner Classic Movies 5
    • Introductory comments 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


During World War II in the summer of 1943, in the aftermath of the fall of the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, the German army uses the ensuing political vacuum to occupy most of the peninsula of Italy.

Italo Bombolini (Anthony Quinn), the mayor of the wine-making hill town of Santa Vittoria, learns that the German occupation forces want to take all of Santa Vittoria's wine with them. The townspeople frantically hide a million bottles in a cave before the arrival of a German army detachment under the command of Sepp Von Prum (Hardy Kruger).

The Germans are given a few thousand bottles, but Von Prum knows there is a lot more. The two very different men engage in a battle of wits. Finally, with time running out, a frustrated Von Prum threatens to shoot Bombolini unless the hidden wine is given up, but no one speaks. Not being a fanatic, Von Prum leaves without harming the mayor.



The film earned $6.5 million worldwide, which was considered a disappointment considering the popularity of the novel.[1]

Awards and nominations

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Film Editing (William A. Lyon and Earle Herdan) and Best Music Score (Ernest Gold). It was nominated for an Eddie award by the American Cinema Editors, USA for best edited feature film.

The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Comedy; and was nominated by the Golden Globe Awards committee for Best Director (Stanley Kramer), Best Actor Comedy (Anthony Quinn), Best Actress Comedy (Anna Magnani), Best Original Score (Ernest Gold) and Best Original Song ("Stay", Ernest Gold and Norman Gimbel)

The Secret of Santa Vittoria on Turner Classic Movies

The Secret of Santa Vittoria was shown on April 30, 2015 on Turner Classic Movies as part of its "Star of the Month salute" to Anthony Quinn.

Introductory comments

"Hey everybody, welcome to TCM, I'm Ben Mankiewicz, filling in tonight for Robert Osborne. Coming up, we have movie number two in our double feature of Anthony Quinn comedies. And, like the film we just showed, Flap, Quinn is once more playing a character who likes to imbibe — this time his beverage of choice is wine. From nineteen sixty-nine and released through United Artists, it's The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Based on the novel of the same name by Robert Crichton, no relation to Michael, by the way, The Secret of Santa Vittoria takes place in a northern Italian village during the Second World War. Anthony Quinn plays a colorful and affable sort, also a tipsy one, often looked down on, as the town drunk. But, through an odd set of circumstances — movie circumstances — he's appointed mayor.

Soon after, the townspeople learn they're about to be occupied by the Nazis and they go into a panic. But it isn't their lives they fear for — it's their wine. So the new mayor hatches a plan to keep the vino out of German hands and off German lips. This is a spirited romp, as it sounds, even one of the Nazis is charming. It's set against the backdrop of the Italian countryside, with beautiful Technicolor cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. The man calling the shots on the film is Stanley Kramer, working for the first time with Anthony Quinn — they would collaborate again one year later on the 1970 drama R. P. M. Joining Quinn in the cast is Anna Magnani, Virna Lisa sic, Giancarlo Giannini and Hardy Kruger as that aforementioned charming Nazi scene-stealer. Pour yourself a glass of chianti and relax. From nineteen sixty-nine, here's Anthony Quinn in The Secret of Santa Vittoria."

See also


  1. ^ a b Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, Uni of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p 146
  2. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11
  3. ^ "TV Listings." (October 20, 1969). The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA
  4. ^ "Secret Premier to Benefit Study Center." (September 13, 1969) Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA.
  5. ^ "Secret Picked for Festival." (August 2, 1969). The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.