another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Sunday, 15 December 2019

I Fidanzati Della Morte

I Fidanzati Della Morte, [Engaged to Death] is an Italian motorcycling film from the heady days of the late ‘fifties, a bit of a melodramatic tale which throws into the mix motorcycle racing and the inherent risks associated with such a dangerous sport. Now, where I Fidanzati Della Morte is different from the usual exploitation films associated with cheap thrills for the average Saturday night at the movies, flea-pit punter is the standard of the pure racing exotica on show and also  the Grand Prix racing stars of the era. Dickie Dale, Bill Lomas, Stanley Woods and Libero Liberati are amongst the riders featured and then there’s the bikes, the fantastic v8 Moto Guzzi, [there is rare footage of the dustbin fairing machine in the famous wind tunnel at the Moto Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario] as well as the beautiful Mondial and Gilera’s racing at Monza and on the famous street circuit of Milano-Taranto [ unbelievable that so long as you had a driving licence you could turn up and race on this dangerously high speed street circuit, imagine getting a ferry to the Isle of Man and setting off down the Glencrutchery Road in the company of McGuiness, Harrison or Hickman!]
    I was totally unaware of the film until a lad in the village who I know is into his bikes [modern superbikes] gave it to me, apparently one of his relatives bought it for him for a birthday present and he managed about five minutes of it before giving up on it, ‘here you go, take this, you can have it, it’s got all those weird old bikes in it that you like, not my cup of tea at all!’
   It really knocked my socks off, the story isn’t great but the footage of the bikes and the sound of the Guzzi and the Gilera, flat out, side by side is fantastic and in my humble opinion well worth a look if you can find a copy......


  1. Thanks for the tip. I'm adding it to the wish list.

  2. Seriously, check out the trailer on YouTube for a taster OMD, just too cool for school!

  3. from italian wikipedia...

    Set in the real world of motorcycle racing, the film relied on the direct collaboration of Moto Guzzi and Gilera, and saw the participation of many of the two-wheel champions of the time: Pierre Monneret, Geoff Duke, Bill Lomas, Libero Liberati, Enrico Lorenzetti , Keith Campbell, Reg Armstrong, Albino Milani. A special feature of the film is that it was shot during the authentic motorcycle competitions of the time: the Grand Prix of Nations at the Monza Autodrome, the last edition of the Milan-Taranto, then banned the following year along with all the road races in italy, following the accident of De Portago at the Mille Miglia, the first international motocross competitions in the Turin area, sidecar races set in the Vallelunga circuit.

    In the film there are rare scenes filmed of the Moto Guzzi facilities and offices in Mandello del Lario and of the corporate wind tunnel in operation, the first ever made for the motorcycle sector. Ing. Enrico Cantoni, who worked closely with Todaro with Giulio Cesare Carcano, the designer who designed some of the most successful models at Mandello.

    The sports consultant of Romolo Marcellini for the film was Bruno Francisci, motorcycle champion of the time, several times winner at the Milano-Taranto. In fact, Marcellini strongly wanted every technical and competitive aspect to be as true as possible and he declared to the press of the time "" The fiancés of death is a film that for some years I wanted to shoot, and finally I did it. ...) With this work I want to render a service to motorcycling and motor sport, strictly adhering to the already exciting reality of motorcycle competitions ".

  4. That’s a great find turboguzzi! Thanks for the link, Tim