A magnetic Vittorio De Sica is Bardone, an opportunistic rascal in wartime Genoa forced by the Nazis to impersonate a dead partisan general in prison to extract information from fellow inmates. Roberto Rossellini’s gripping drama is among his most commercially popular films.
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A masterpiece from Roberto Rossellini.
Trying to survive the German Occupation Of Italy -1943-1945. Vittorio De Sica is brilliant as a flawed character who pulls himself up due to the expectations of others.
The problem with these World War 2 films is the Nazis. There's just no grey with them. Their purpose is to allow people to be courageous in defiance of them. I don't know if he was a coward as much as he was a con man. Of course it's a perfect role for a director to play because they pretty much have to be con-men to get their films made.
If the cinematography is more formal than usual for Rossellini, it works well with the gravity provided by De Sica's performance. The effect is ceremonial, as though we're watching a great Shakespearian tragedy.
De Sica is, as always, magnetic. Rossellini is, as always, sublime. Another beautiful exposition by Europe's post-war generation. This is a straight forward character study that pits brutality against frailty, principle against the raw will to survive. We can only hope that one day our artists will examine the post-911 world with such sensitivity.
Great acting by De Sica. You must fall in love with him whether he cheats, tries his luck, kisses germans shoes, and simply, with the way he moves in order to survive. Rossellini makes himself invisible, letting his characters speak for themselves, so you find the people who asks for their brothers and fathers simply heartbreaking. Maybe not the ultimate italian film, but one which tries the most extreme dilemmas.
An interesting choice for my first Rossellini, I'm sure, but I was far too intrigued at the prospect of the great Vittorio De Sica in the lead role. His performance is both heartbreaking and bleak, and yet there is warmth to him. Truly remarkable war story.
A really offbeat World War II drama, even for Rossellini. The director eschews his signature neo-realism (think Open City) for artificial backdrops that allow him to tell his story of shifting alliances and redemption. He humanizes his characters -- not only De Sica's grifter but also the German colonel who shows war-weary empathy. The only fault: The ending, while grisly, is a bit jingoistic.