Una storia semplice
Directed byEmidio Greco
StarringGian Maria Volonté
CinematographyTonino Delli Colli
Music byLuis Enriquez Bacalov

Una storia semplice (internationally released as A Simple Story) is a 1991 Italian drama film directed by Emidio Greco. It is based on the novel with the same name written by Leonardo Sciascia.[1] It premiered at the 1991 Venice International Film Festival, in which it entered the main competition.[2] The film was awarded with a Nastro d'Argento for best screenplay, two Globi d'oro for best film and best screenplay and a Grolla d'oro for best actor to the ensamble cast.[3]


The Sciascia story unfolds with the arrival in Sicily of a medicine rep from Verona. He is unaware that he witnessed a double murder at a rural railway station until he hears about the event on his car radio. He calls on the local police station to help with the enquiries. The police have discovered the body of a retired ambassador, returned after years of absence, in his remote farmhouse, after he had called them about the discovery of an item (a stolen painting) rolled up in the attic. The police did not call that night, since the duty Inspector thought it might be a hoax (he knew the farm house to be abandoned). The following day the strange appearance of the retired ambassador's body, which appears to have been a suicide, raises suspicion that he may have been murdered. This is the investigating policeman's opinion but it is rejected by the Police Commissioner, who insists on a simple and uncomplicated suicide. There is a suggestion that the Carabinieri who have also turned up at the crime scene are aware of the alternative theory. Meanwhile, interrogation of the medicine rep from Verona clarifies that he had not seen the railway staff, but rather their murderers rolling up a "carpet" (actually the painting) in the station. The investigation proceeds with an old friend of the "suicide," a professor Franzo who reveals more about the telephone conversations they had exchanged before the ambassador's death. It looks to the police as though the farm buildings had been used for criminal activity for some time. The inspector, however, appears to be overly familiar with the inside of the main house and real doubts enter the Brigadiere's mind as to his real involvement in the crime. The judge insists unreasonably that the police Commissioner and Carabinieri should give him cast iron evidence if he is to proceed with any case, as in his view all he heard were conjectures. The estranged widow and son of the ambassador arrive and the extent of the family rift is evident. They appear to have relied on the local parish priest Don Cricco to oversee the mainly abandoned family properties in the area. The film ends with an accident in which the Inspector and Brigadiere exchange pistol shots, killing the Inspector. The police call it an accident.



  1. ^ "Morto Emidio Greco il regista con passione". La Repubblica. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  2. ^ Altiero Scicchitano, Emidio Greco (1995). Emidio Greco: lo splendore del nulla. Paravia/Scriptorium, 1995. ISBN 8886231229.
  3. ^ Enrico Lancia (1998). I premi del cinema. Gremese Editore, 1998. ISBN 8877422211.