One of Naples’ most beloved playwrights, Eduardo Scarpetta (Toni Servillo) staged extraordinary comedic productions with his family troupe that were only rivaled by the constant drama surrounding his tumultuous personal life. But at the height of his popularity in 1904, Scarpetta risked it all with a controversial parody of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s The Daughter of Iorio. Booed from the stage by his rivals, he was sued for plagiarism and forced to defend his craft and legacy in a legal battle that would culminate in one of his last great performances.
Brought to the screen by acclaimed Italian film and theater director Mario Martone, THE KING OF LAUGHTER had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where Toni Servillo was awarded Best Actor, and went on to be nominated for 14 David di Donatello Awards.
“A riotously comic and yet touching historical drama from Italy’s Mario Martone.... With its lovingly crafted re-creation of the Belle Époque theatrical scene and its richly drawn character portrait of a man coming to face his own limitations, THE KING OF LAUGHTER channels the riotous energy of the theater with an outsize love for its characters and themes.” –25 Years Later
DIRECTED BY MARIO MARTONE
ITALY, SPAIN | 2021 | ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES