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(aka "Uccellacci e Uccellini" or "The Hawks and the Sparrows")


directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Italy 1966


On a hot summer day, an old man (Italian comic TotÚ) and one of his eighteen children (Ninetto Davoli, TEOREMA) take to the road on foot. They meet a "left-wing intellectual" raven (voiced by Francesco Leonetti, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW) who attempts to enlighten the pair about their position in the class structure: exploiting those beneath them (like the tenants on their land who have given them all of their belongings for lack of payment) and being exploited by those above them (like the "engineer" who threatens to jail them when their own hardships leave them unable to pay their debts). During a lengthy flashback, Toto and Davoli become monks Brother Ciccillo and Brother Ninetto charged by Saint Francis with the task of preaching to the two rival "classes" of birds: the arrogant hawks and the humble sparrows.

HAWKS AND SPARROWS is definitely a Pasolini film, rather than a Toto film; and the humor comes from both Toto's antics as well as the dialogue and the raven's commentary. Davoli role is much more substantial here than his clown/messenger roles in Pasolini's next few films. Ennio Morricone's humorous score (conducted as usual by Bruno Nicolai) seems equally influenced by sixties pop as it does his own spaghetti western work (he had already composed scores for nine films in this genre by 1966 including Sergio Leone's trilogy), and the film's opening credits are "sung" by Grammy-winning Domenico Modugno (Toto himself sings the song "Carme, Carme" later in the film). Italian sexploitation star Femi Benussi (THE BLOODSUCKER LEADS THE DANCE) has a brief but prominent role as prostitute Luna who Toto and Davoli meet on the side of a road. Alfredo Bini had produced most of Pasolini's early output and their collaboration would end with Pasolini's next film OEDIPUS REX (the first of his Mythical Cycle quartet).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 4 May 1966 (Italy)

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DVD Review: Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Eureka Video

Region 2 - NTSC

Runtime 1:28:36

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:23)
• Liner Notes Booklet

DVD Release Date: July 23rd, 2012

Chapters 17



Eureka's high-bitrate, progressive, dual-layer, anamorphic Region 2 NTSC HD-mastered transfer of HAWKS AND SPARROWS is a touch brighter than Tartan's previous boxed-set Region 2 PAL release (going by the three captures in that review, which correspond to images 1, 3, and 6). The 320 kbps Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is in great condition. The optional English subtitle are error-free (the birds' dialogue is presented as burnt-in Italian subtitles at the bottom of the frame so the English subs appear at the top of the frame during these sequences). The only extras for this "Masters of Cinema" presentation are the film's theatrical trailer (also subtitled) and a liner notes booklet (not provided for review).

In July, Eureka will be releasing three Pasolini titles including this one, PORCILE, and OEDIPUS REX. HAWKS AND SPARROWS and PORCILE are DVD-only while OEDIPUS REX is dual-format.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Screen Captures

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Eureka Video

Region 2 - NTSC



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