Slapstick road trip comedy meets the most fabulous of odd couple pairings in Dino Risi's IL SORPASSO. Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant star as Bruno and Roberto — the first a boastful, free-spirited bachelor and the second a square, timid law student — who find themselves paired up on a wild ride from Rome to Tuscany. As the two make their way through the early-1960s Italian countryside in marvelously freeform style, with piazzas, scantily clad beaches and even grisly roadside accidents peppering their journey, it becomes clear that while American cinema may be the home of the road trip film, Italian cinema claims one of the genre's best and most influential entries; IL SORPASSO is said to have inspired such landmark films as EASY RIDER (1969) and SIDEWAYS (2004). Risi's brilliant handling of tone — which oscillates from madcap to moving — and the film's greater message about the human struggle to attain la dolce vita make it easy to understand why this classic is so beloved in Italy, and considered the ultimate commedia all'italiana. The new 4K restoration of IL SORPASSO, conducted by Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna, Surf Film and Janus Films, will have its world premiere at AFI FEST.
— Beth Hanna
Dino Risi (1916–2008) was born in Milan. With the POOR BUT HANDSOME series, which began in 1957, Risi found great success, becoming one of the best-known directors of the so-called commedia all’italiana genre. His biggest hits — A DIFFICULT LIFE (1961), THE EASY LIFE (1962) and OPIATE ‘67 (1963) — comically capture the great changes Italy underwent as it transformed from an agricultural nation to an industrial power.