Write Who You Know: A number of characters are based on people Guareschi knew; most notably Signora Cristina, the old schoolmarm, is a loving portrait of the author's mother, who was a schoolteacher herself.
Author Existence Failure: A sixth film for the series, fr. Don Camillo et les contestataires/ it. Don Camillo e i giovani d'oggi (Don Camillo and the Red-Haired Girl), was in the making in 1970-1971 when Fernandel collapsed while shooting due to cancer. He died a month later, the movie unfinished. Out of respect for him, the studio completely remade the movie with different actors — Gino Cervi refused to make a new film without Fernandel. The unfinished movie with Fernandel and Cervi has never been seen, the reels are thought to have been destroyed.
Italian priest Don Camillo, played by Frenchman Fernandel. Who didn't do anything to hide his South-Eastern France accent in the French dub (he was dubbed in Italian for the Italian version). Interestingly, this means that in the French dub, pretty much all the actors were dubbed with that same accent, which makes it one of the very, very few French dubs that don't solely feature the typically "neutral" (more or less Parisian) French accent — Jesus is practically the only one who doesn't have a South-Eastern France accent — and makes the films sound likeMarcel Pagnol-ish works as a result.
American actor of Russian-Jewish descent Lionel Stander as the Italian Peppone in Don Camillo e i giovani d'oggi (1972).
He Also Did: The screenplay of the 1950s-1960s films was written by French writer René Barjavel, who is much more famous for his science-fiction novels.
Gino Cervi was originally cast as Don Camillo, but then the makers of the first film were stumped to find a good Peppone. For a time, Giovannino Guareschi considered playing the communist mayor himself (he certainly looked the part with his Badass Mustache), but then someone suggested Camillo be played by Fernandel, and the part of Peppone was eventually given to Cervi.
How would a sixth movie with Fernandel have looked instead of the one that was made instead (Don Camillo e i giovani d'oggi)? Word is that the movie was finished anywhere between 30% and 80%. From a set interview of Fernandel made about six months before his death, it appears that the basic story and thematics (major social and religious changes of The '60s) were kept in.
Alternative Title(s):Little World Of Don Camillo, The Return Of Don Camillo, Don Camillos Last Round, Don Camillo Monsignor, Don Camillo In Moscow