Irene Girard is an ambassador's wife and used to living in luxury. After the dramatic death of her son, she feels guilty of having neglected him and feels compelled to help people in need ... See full summary »
Karen, a young woman from the Baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the volcano, is a tough one and Karen cannot get used to it.
Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life for Romans is still difficult with the Nazi occupation as there is a curfew, basic foods are rationed, and the Nazis are still searching for those working for the resistance and will go to any length to quash those in the resistance and anyone providing them with assistance. War worn widowed mother Pina is about to get married to her next door neighbor Francesco. Despite their situation - Pina being pregnant, and Francesco being an atheist - Pina and Francesco will be wed by Catholic priest Don Pietro Pelligrini. The day before the wedding, Francesco's friend, Giorgio Manfredi, who Pina has never met, comes looking for Francesco as he, working for the resistance, needs a place to hide out. For his latest mission, Giorgio also requests the assistance of Don Pietro, who is more than willing as he sees... Written by
Before starting filming, Roberto Rossellini had signed a contract for distribution with Artisti Associati. However, the firm would not honor its commitments, arguing that the film was more a report than a fiction film. Rosselini then managed to sell his rights to Minerva Films, which finally released it. See more »
I've a man who must talk before dawn and a priest who is praying for him. He'll talk
And if not?
And if not?
Then it would mean an Italian is worth as much as a German. It would mean there is no difference in the blood of a slave race and a master race. And no reason for this war.
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Photographed on scraps of film abandoned by German forces as they
retreated from Rome toward the end of World War II, Roberto
Rossellini's OPEN CITY was immediately hailed as a masterpiece of
realism when it hit screens around the world in the late 1940s. Seen
within the context of its time and with reference to the circumstances
under which it was made, OPEN CITY is a staggering accomplishment; even
so, by modern standards, it feels visually static and slightly
The great strength of the film is in the direct way Rossellini tells
his story of Italian resistance fighters trying to dodge capture by the
Nazis in occupied Rome--and in the performances of Anna Magnani and
Aldo Fabrizi as two Italians who become increasingly caught up in
resistance activities. But time has not been entirely kind to the film:
the story seems somewhat superficial, portions of it lack expected
intensity, and some performances seem more than a little artificial,
with a lesbian subplot, the famous torture scenes, and Maria Mitchi's
performance cases in point.
Ironically, these drawbacks actually result from comparisons with
later, still more realistic films that followed its example--and it is
a great tribute to the strength of the film that it survives the
revolution it started as well as it does. (One does well to recall that
at the time OPEN CITY was made such slick Hollywood films as MRS.
MINIVER were considered the height of realism.) Still, because of these
issues I would hesitate to recommend OPEN CITY as an introduction to
Italian neo-realism for one not already well-versed in it. But those
with an established appreciation of Italian cinema will find it very
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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