Rome, Open City

1945

Drama / Thriller / War

166
IMDb Rating 8 10 22,701

Synopsis


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October 28, 2020

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
944.36 MB
1280*720
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.71 GB
1920×1080
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 8 / 10 / 10

A realistic tribute to Italy's freedom-fighters...

The experience of defeat and occupation with the daily humiliations, was happily not one that the Americans or British had to undergo... But for those countries which did suffer under the frame of foreign oppression—France, Italy, Czechoslovakia and Poland—the experience left a heritage of bitterness deeply evident in their films... Italy, however, was a special and unusual case: it was occupied by two opposing armies—the German and the American— at the same time... And as neither side trusted the Italians they were left to get on with their own internal political quarrels of partisans versus fascist, within the limits, of course, of occupation... It was these experiences that Roberto Rossellini recorded in his trilogy about war— 'Rome, Open City', 'Paisá,' and 'Germany Year Zero.' Rossellini called 'Rome, Open City' a film about 'fear, everyone's fear, but above all my own.' Made under difficult a penurious circumstances towards the war's end, the film captures with an astonishing consciousness the whole experience... There is no need to recreate anything for it is all there, in the ruined buildings and in the people's faces... Rossellini had 'planted the camera in the middle of real life' and so spearheaded the Neo-realist film revival... But Rossellini did more than just film things as they were... His creative genius molded what existed into a film of overpowering impact, an impact which does not recede with the passing of years... Out of his own particular situation he has created a magnificent story of resistance both concrete and spiritual which could not be broken by force... And in fact, it is only broken by the promise of luxury: Marina betrays her lover because she has been caught up in the decadence of the oppressor's world... But Manfredi when caught does not crack under the brutal torture... Rossellini endows all those who resist, whether Communist or Catholic, with a special kind of purity... Manfredi, Francesco, Pina (played by the magnificent Anna Magnani), and the children all seem to have drunk of the same deep and clear well of faith... We see this especially in the priest, Don Pietro (Aldo Fabrizi), a kind man, wedded to a faith which obviously based on a true Christian humility... His humble activities as resistance worker only underline what he is already... 'It is my duty to help those who need it,' he answers when asked why he is taking such great risks... And when he is captured and tortured by the Gestapo he accepts his fate: 'It is not difficult to die well. It is difficult to live well.'

Reviewed by B24 8 / 10 / 10

Nice Piece of Work for its Time

Like so many movies made during or shortly after WWII, this one reveals more about the circumstances of its creation than anything novel in the story line. Stock good guys and bad guys fill the screen, and the sombre tone of it all trumps any truly objective attempt to critique it according to some dispassionate set of standards. The fact that it was made at all and continues to be shown to appreciative audiences via cable television speaks for itself. The strength of the production lies indeed in powerful individual scenes and some inspired acting. It captures attention from the beginning and holds the viewer rapt until the final minutes, even though the cinematic values are at best crude, requiring a forgiving eye. One identifies easily with its emotional force. That said, its shortcomings are rather obvious. The Nazis are mainly not native speakers of German, with accents ranging from Dutch to Italian, and the one German officer who speaks ill of the "master race" is in his cups rather than a sober judge of the evil around him. The viewer would do well to remember that fascism in Italy was a homegrown phenomenon well before the Germans took over the show in 1944. Note how the Red Menace is thrown in the face of patriotic Italians as a ploy to gain their acquiescence to Nazi control. Elements of moral decadence among the evildoers likewise diminishes rather than enhances the proposition that they are rational perpetrators of that evil, bent on excusing their acts by twisting the truth to suit their own agenda. Yet this was a contemporaneous Italian reflection on fresh history, and that cannot be faulted by 21st Century revisionists. It also restored a vital industry to Italy, and presaged many great films that followed it.

Reviewed by realreel 8 / 10 / 10

Other interpretations

Over time, Rossellini's legacy has been overshadowed by that of his contemporaries Fellini and de Sica. There are reasons for this. Fellini had a unique cinematographic eye and a gift for abstract symbolism. De Sica was able to capture the incidental and indeterminate in a way that practically elevated it to the level of the holy. His use of non-actors was far more effective than Rossellini's, as was Fellini's use of actors. Rossellini's scripts were often two-dimensional, his cinematography spotty and his editing odd. So why is it that he occupies a leading position among Italian auteurs? In fact, Rossellini was not a neo-realist, but a realist. Compared with products of the neo-realists, his films are thin and wooden. If, on the other hand, one views them as works of tragedy, they are excellent. From the very start of Open City, it is clear that the seeds of disaster are sewn. A pregnant mother is to be married to a member of the resistance. Members of the clergy and children are also involved in fighting the Nazis. Italians are united against a common enemy: Fascism. Yet we know that, while victory is inevitable, so is death. Perhaps it is the darkness of the tight, seedy interiors that tips us off. Perhaps it is because we do not feel that sense of endlessness beyond the screen, but that we are being led through these building and streets along with the characters. Perhaps is is the German marching songs. Whatever it is, we feel the march of destiny leading us to some terrible conclusion. Fate can never play a role in neo-realist work; by Bazin's definition, it is constructed organically and arrives at its destination as if by chance. Tragedy can only be the purview of the realist. Open City is not without its liabilities. For one, Arata's cinematography, while startling at times, is unsatisfactory at others. The script, written by Fellini and Amidei, is confusing and allows for minimal character development. [N.B.: The English subtitles add to this confusion, excising whole chunks of crucial dialogue.] Several of the performances are undynamic, such as those of Maria Michi and Carla Rovere; the villains, portrayed by Giovanna Gallett and Harry Feist, are very much "in type"; Aldo Fabrizi, who, as Don Pietro, is so central to the plot, is guilty of overacting. Above all, one doesn't get the sense that Rossellini's camera "falls in love" with its subjects the way that one might wish it did. Yet it is in this very impassiveness, this plastic script and detached camera, that the key to Open City lies. This is not a film about a painter and his son, nor does it lovingly portray an old pensioner and his dog. This film is about the horrors of war, not a subject for which Rossellini expects to find an empathetic audience. In the absence of footlights and the invisible "third wall", he uses the greatest tool at his disposal to create tragic theater: our own lack of nobility. Open City is a portrait of human courage in the face of overwhelming odds. It confronts us with horrors which, God willing, we may never know. Don't watch it expecting to fall in love with the grittiness of World War II era Italy. Expect to be deeply moved.

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