» » Luciano Serra, pilota (1938)

Short summary

Successful WWI pilot Luciano Serra has problems adjusting to an ordinary life in peace, so he leaves his family and becomes a pilot in America. In the 30s, his son in Italy wants also to become a pilot, and Luciano accepts an offer of a double dealing agent for a flight from Rio to Rome, but his plane crashes in the Atlantic. For the world Luciano Serra is missing, but he has entered the Italian army under a new name to fight in Ethiopia. The train in which his unit travels is attacked by Ethiopian soldiers, his son flying a reconasaince mission is shot down and wounded by the same attacking enemies. Will Luciano be able to fly the plane back, to get close air support for the outnumbered Italian troups ?

Italian censorship visa #30284 delivered on 03 September 1938.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Marilore
    A film funded by the Fascist Italy, yet it isn't really about Italy's armed forces or the might of the Fascist movement. It's more of a character study about a man pulled in two directions. On one hand, he's a family man with a beautiful wife, rich father-in-law and a handsome son. On the other hand, he has a need to fly, fly above all the rest. The movie walks us through his decision-making progress and allows us to feel the conflict within him. Though one could say that he never seriously considered his family and that his need to fly had consumed him at a relatively early age, but there are certain scenes where you can see the struggle that is raging within him.

    So, as a character study how does the movie hold up? Well, the flying scenes are actually pretty decent for their time. There's a certain feeling of speed and movement that I've rarely encountered in any film, yet alone in a movie this old. The actors are also talented, the basic story is a classic and some of the battle scenes are rather intense. Unfortunately those said battle scenes are also way too long, which ruins the final third of the film. It just a battle scene after a battle scene. I would have liked to see more of those character interactions that the movie did so brilliantly in the first half of the film. Alas, it's just men shooting at each other with very limited dialogue. Though I must admit that the ending was done with style.

    All in all, it's not a bad film, but it's not a masterpiece either. It has some good moments, but the lackluster final third ruins the whole experience.
  • comment
    • Author: Oppebro
    From from first frame to last, this film is complete and utter Fascist propaganda. How anyone could say otherwise is beyond me. The reviewer above calls it a character study. Well, only in so far as the central character typifies the 'virtuous' and 'heroic' Italian male as espoused by the Mussolini's Blackshirts. The plot is absurdly contrived and bloated to the point of parody and it would be funny if it were not the reflection of a murderous, tyrannical regime who were at the time, at war with Ethiopia.

    The only reason why it is remembered today is because it shared first prize (with Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia) at the 1938 Venice Film Festival. The film that everyone thought should have won that year was Jean Renoir's masterpiece, La Grande Illusion.

    Luciano Serra, Pilota won because the film was made under the supervision of Mussolini's son.

  • Complete credited cast:
    Amedeo Nazzari Amedeo Nazzari - Luciano Serra
    Germana Paolieri Germana Paolieri - Sandra Serra
    Roberto Villa Roberto Villa - Aldo Serra
    Mario Ferrari Mario Ferrari - Il colonnello Franco Morelli
    Guglielmo Sinaz Guglielmo Sinaz - Jose Ribera
    Egisto Olivieri Egisto Olivieri - Nardini, il suocero di Luciano
    Andrea Checchi Andrea Checchi - Ten. Binelli
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Oscar Andriani Oscar Andriani - Il cappellano militare
    Olivia Fried Olivia Fried - Dorothy Thompson
    Nicola Maldacea Nicola Maldacea - Un socio del circolo
    Beatrice Mancini Beatrice Mancini - La fidanzata di Aldo (as Bice Mancinotti)
    Gino Mori Gino Mori - Aldo Serra da bambino
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