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
Roberto Rossellini's Open City contains characters so real and emotions so powerful that it is not unusual for audiences to wonder whether the drama being played out on the screen is in truth a bona fide documentation of events surrounding the Italian Resistance during WWII. A study of the production history reveals that the film is closer to a combination of pure documentation (most accounts will go into detail about the location shooting and the presence of real soldiers) and dramatic reconstruction of actual events (like the execution of priest Don Morosini by the Nazis) with some lyrical filmmaking thrown in for good measure (I still get chills down my spine when I hear the children whistling in defiance of their oppressors). Anna Magnani, one of the greatest performers in the history of Italian cinema, is absolutely amazing in this film.
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