Smoke Over London

Swinging London and Englishness from an Italian Perspective

If you looked in on The Tweed Pig a couple of days ago, you'd have seen the post on How to Make an Englishman. Of course, these were stills from the 1960s Italian film Smoke Over London or Fumo di Londra.

The comic film was written and directed by Alberto Sordi, who had starred previously in the films of Fellini. Sordi also played the main character Dante Fontana, an Italian man in love with the idea of Britishness and British culture. He comes to London with a dream of living like an Englishman, which, of course, is not as easy as it looks. I revel in the backgrounds, the shops and the streets scenes.

You can hunt out the soundtrack, the original posters and the film itself. Chilsolm Larsson Gallery have an original hunting scene poster available (top) as we go to press.

Swinging Soundtrack

The swinging soundtrack for Fumo di Londra was composed by Piero Piccioni, but Sordi also had a hand, and credit, on the smashing song You Never Told Me.  An original Italian pressing of the soundtrack will cost a pretty penny, you'll be fighting amongst eager mod collectors when they come on the market. But you can get a CD copy for much less.

Another song from the film, Mr Dante Fontana, gives the recipe we described  for making an Englishman in the lyrics.

Get your bowler hat at Lock
Look around you
See how they surround you
Get that hat at Lock
Buy your stylish shoes at Lobb
It's the done thing
Stroll and walk around in shoes from Mr Lobb
Your umbrella straight from Brigg
Never, never trust the weather ever
Get your brolly from Brigg
Then you'll find at Fortnum and Mason a beautiful red carnation
A moment of sweet fascination will linger with you
From Dunhill a pipe for the manly type
Get your ties each day the Piccadilly way
Gentlemen everything is just alright


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