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Film / Don Camillo in Moscow

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Don Camillo in Moscow (Italian: Il compagno Don Camillo; French: Don Camillo en Russie) is a 1965 Italian-French comedy film directed by Luigi Comencini, starring Fernandel and Gino Cervi. It is the fifth film of the Don Camillo franchise, the last of it to be filmed in black and white, and the last to star both Fernandel and Cervi. René Barjavel wrote the French dialogues.

Don Camillo (Fernandel) and Peppone (Cervi) do not agree about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. According to Peppone, it is a land of plenty and he decides to twin Brescello with a Soviet town. Camillo puts up a man and a woman who pretend to be refugees from the USSR and he uses them to discredit the twinning project, but they turn out to be impostors. Peppone and his communist comrades are invited to the country for the twinning ceremony. Camillo decides to go with them.


Don Camillo in Moscow provides examples of:

  • Animated Credits Opening: The credits opening mixes animation with images of Peppone's hat and Don Camillo's biretta.
  • Blackmail:
    • Don Camillo threatens to tell Peppone's wife that he flirted with the stallholder, so Peppone is forced to let him go to Russia with the communist delegation.
    • In the end, Peppone reverses the roles: he threatens to disclose a photograph of Don Camillo kissing a Russian girl on the lips, while holding a Soviet emblem, if Don Camillo does not let him go to the US.
  • Book and Switch: During the journey to the USSR, Don Camillo hides his breviary behind the cover of a collection of thoughts of Lenin. In the end, Peppone hides The Communist Manifesto behind the cover of the Bible.
  • The Casanova: Scamoggia tries to pick up all the girls he meets (a girl goes with him to the train station and he says that he met her the day before; he wants to seduce German tourists on the train; he tries to seduce Nadia in the USSR).
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The brother of Brusco happens to be buried in the area of the town that Brescello is twinned with.
    • In the end, Peppone and Don Camillo, who are going to the United States, are in the airport at the same time as Scamoggia and Nadia, who are coming from the USSR.
  • Drinking Contest: Peppone engages in one of those with a Soviet official to stall for time so don Camillo can get back to the hotel before the Russians discover that he is missing. When Don Camillo finally gets back he is shocked to find out that Peppone actually won the contest against a Russian - and is dead drunk with a side of dead.
  • Due to the Dead: Don Camillo and Brusco go to a field where the brother of Brusco is buried to pray for him. They do it secretly because the brother was a fascist who fought against the USSR during World War II.
  • Europeans Are Kinky: Germans are kinky according to the Italians. There are two German women wearing revealing clothes on the train (a mother and her daughter). Scamoggia thinks it will be easy to seduce them and he suggests that Don Camillo should charm the mother while he charms the daughter.
  • Force Feeding: Peppone and his comrades force Don Camillo to eat and drink because he was on hunger strike to protest against the twinning with a Soviet town. They do not know that Don Camillo has already stopped the hunger strike.
  • Hearing Voices: Don Camillo cannot hear the voice of Jesus when he is on hunger strike. He hears it again when he stops it.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the end, Don Camillo, Peppone and a group of priests are going to the United States. Peppone is disguised as a priest. This situation is similar to the main event of the film: Don Camillo, Peppone and a group of communists went to the USSR. Don Camillo pretended to be a communist.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the end, Scamoggia realizes that he loves Nadia and he chooses to stay with her in the USSR.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Scamoggia tries to pick up all the girls he meets. Finally, he truly falls in love with Nadia and decides to stay with her in the USSR.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The owner of the shooting range (Marina Morgan). She always wears a corset.
  • Never Trust a Title: The English title is Don Camillo in Moscow, even if Don Camillo does not go to Moscow, but to a small Soviet town. His plane just flies above Moscow on the way to the town. The Italian title meanwhile translates as Comrade Don Camillo, and the French title as Don Camillo in Russia — which is more factually correct (assuming the town is situated in the SSR of Russia).
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The owner of the shooting range (Marina Morgan) always wears a corset.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The previous episodes took place mainly in Brescello, and never outside of Italy. This film is about a trip to the USSR.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snap Back: In the previous episode, Don Camillo: Monsignor, Peppone was a senator and Don Camillo a monsignor and they both lived in Rome. Here, Peppone and Don Camillo live in Brescello again. Peppone is the mayor and Don Camillo is a simple priest. There is no explanation about this change.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: A girl kisses Scamoggia goodbye at the train station as he departs for the Soviet Union. Scamoggia later tells his comrades that he has just met her.


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