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The Rose Tattoo (1955)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1956 (Brazil)
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An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Rose Tattoo (1955)

The Rose Tattoo (1955) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Ben Cooper ...
Seaman Jack Hunter
Virginia Grey ...
Estelle Hohengarten
Sandro Giglio ...
Father De Leo
Florence Sundstrom ...


An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period of years draws more and more into herself, trying to force her lovely teenaged daughter Rosa to do likewise. On one eventful day, Rose finally breaks away; Serafina learns of Rosario's affair with another woman; and a new carefree, handsome Italian truck driver enters her life... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lusty...Rousing...Startling! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

A Rosa Tatuada  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Magnani's first English-speaking role in a Hollywood film. She was very nervous about her English, and her heavy accent during filming, and in fact had turned down the role in the stage version earlier for the same reason. Magnani's performance was widely applauded and she walked home with the Oscar for Best Actress as a result. See more »


When the truck crashes in flames and rolls down the hillside, it is obvious from the beginning of the sequence that there is nobody in the cab. See more »


Referenced in Get a Life: The Big City (1991) See more »


The Sheik of Araby
by Ted Snyder, Francis Wheeler and Harry B. Smith
Used instrumentally (player piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Great Anna Magnani
9 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Rose Tattoo is a solid film with terrific performances by 3 Oscar winners: Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, and Jo Van Fleet. Magnani landed the film version after Maureen Stapleton had originated the part on Broadway, and she is terrific as the smouldering Italian woman whose husband is killed when he is caught smuggling. The Tennessee Williams play touches on the usual ingredients of sexual repression and denial and hypocrisy. After years of mourning the dead husband (the Baron), Magnani finally gives in to sexual urges (with Lancaster) only after the swarm of village women (a pack of Italian harpy hags that acts as a Greek Chorus) convince her that the husband had been unfaithful. The subplot involves the purity of the daughter who is dating an equally pure sailor (Marisa Pavan and Ben Cooper). The subplot is boring. Lancaster is good as the simpleton truck driver who serves as the double for the dead husband, right down to the rose tattoo on his chest. Another rose tattoo shows up on the chest of the husband's floozie girl friend (nicely played by Virginia Grey), which serves as the "proof" Magnani needs to finally believe her husband's cheating. Lots of symbolism and circular plots, but the bottom line is the excellence of the acting. Magnani won a well-deserved Oscar for this film. Her scenes with Lancaster are electric. And Van Fleet is super as the shrieking customer (Magnani is a seamstress); it's no coincidence that Van Fleet won the supporting actress Oscar that year for East of Eden, since her performance in The Rose Tattoo is a world apart from that film. And yes Tennessee Williams can be glimpsed as a barfly at the Mardi Gras Club.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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