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40 years from “Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer”

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Published on Jun 26, 2018

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What is your favorite movie on the football? “Any given Sunday” and the speech coach D'amato? Or the recent “shadow Zone”? Or even the beautiful story of Michael Oher as told in “The Blind Side”. If you started to follow football in the early 90's maybe you remember with nostalgia of ”The Program”, while if you have started to admire the exploits of Dan Marino and Joe Montana, you probably respond with “heaven can wait”, or “The dirty last goal.”

Instead, if you are otherwise young people like those who write, and remember the beginnings of football in Italy, before there was even a league, when a team called the “Pink Panthers” around the NATO bases to meet the teams of american soldiers, certainly will not forget “Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer”, a film with Bud Spencer, who led the spheroid prolate on the big screens, just forty years ago, in 1978.
A thousand stories and a thousand anecdotes are told of that film, in which they found themselves acting as extras and players in the team of Bud Spencer, of the guys whose names are indelibly linked to the era prepionieristica of american football in Italy as Sergio Angona, Tones, Nori or Carlo Trabattoni, without forgetting the many others who, for the sake of brevity, we do not mention.


The film, directed by Michele Lupo, was initially supposed to be called “Upperkut”, was filmed between Marina di Pisa, Livorno and Cinecittà, while scenes related to the game were filmed inside the NATO base of Camp Darby in Tirrenia, using a mixture of players from the local team of the Rangers and, in fact, this group of italians who, at the time, began to play american football in the fields of Piacenza and the surrounding area. Why the Pink Panthers? Well, quite simple. At the time, was the only team the existing. Or better, they were just born Frogs Gallarate, but had not yet played any game, and above all, no one even knew them. In fact, the piacentini were contacted after the producer read an article about the team on a weekly basis.

The film has nothing to do with american productions on the american football and, as you can imagine, is a classic of the genre “punches & sberloni” that has made famous his protagonist. Ultimately, is not this great ad for the discipline, which the film returns in caricature, but for many it represents the first contact with this strange sport from the oval ball and with the players dressed up as martians” (cit.).

The story is very simple, as all of the movies of Bud Spencer, and in the end it is an excuse for the gigantic and pyrotechnic fist fights where the big guy with the beard has accustomed us.
Bud Spencer plays Spitz, a former football player that, out of the blue, stopped playing and started to turn the boat world. He is wandering around the port in Livorno, where it must stop to repair any damage to his boat.
In Livorno, you come across a group of american soldiers from the nearby base of Camp Darby who likes to “bullizzare” the young people of the place. The fights are the order of the day, and Spitz is involved, despite himself, humiliating the sergeant Kempfer arm of iron.
To get a rematch, Kempfer challenge the Italian boys to a football game, and Spitz finds himself again involved, in spite of himself, in teaching the rudiments of the game to local youth.
The first half of the game is a real massacre, with the americans in the brutalizzano so since excessive italians, and in the range of Spitz decides to take the field at their side.
We need to tell you how it will end up, or imagine it by yourself?

The scenes of the game are as hilarious as they are improbable, and it's surprising to think that those scenes needed to many remakes, even more than the acted scenes.
On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the release of the film (and the second anniversary of the death of Carlo Pedersoli alias Bud Spencer), in Livorno it was organized an event named “In Livorno with Bud”, during which there have been a number of small performances and competitions on the theme with the movie “Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer” and “Bombolo”, the latter also shot in Livorno, and more or less contemporary.
It is not, of course, missed the american football match, staged by the Etruscans Livorno and from the Storms Pisa, as well as the performance of the cheerleader and, at the close of the event, the screening of the full film.

How do you say this? You have never seen “Lo chiamavano Bulldozer”? And what are you waiting for? Go, go, go immediately to track down a copy and make yourself comfortable: it is a gap to be absolutely filling!

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