The Rose Tattoo (1955)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1956 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,496 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

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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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


Seething with realism and frankness! 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?


Though the script places the location in a small Mississippi Gulf town, exteriors were shot in Key West. When scouting for locations, a perfect fit was found for the exterior of the house owned by Serafina Delle Rose on Duncan Street. A fence indicating a goat paddock was needed next door and the crew was worried the owner may object to the filming nearby and the addition of a ramshackle fence on his property. They needn't have worried - the house and property next door at 1431 Ducan was the home that Tennessee Williams shared with his lover Frank Merlo himself who happily agreed to its use even inviting Magnani (close friends of Merlo and Williams) and Lancaster to use it as their dressing rooms. In later years, Williams had an enormous mosaic of a rose tattoo embedded in the floor of the pool behind the house, which is still there today. 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 »


Out of Nowhere
Music by Johnny Green
Used instrumentally at dance
See more »

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User Reviews

worth watching for the outstanding acting of Magnani
26 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I recommend this film solely to witness Magnani's performance, which was an utterly beautiful piece of acting, indeed. Although I did not feel pulled into the plot very much, I did sympathize with Magnani's character because she played her part with such heart. I must admit that I was disappointed by Lancaster's overacting, and the minor actors also were not at all impressive. Also, I do not feel inspired to read the play itself because I don't think that reading it could compare to watching Magnani's riveting performance through which Magnani's soul itself seems to bleed.

Although I cannot think of another film with such an engaging actress, the beginning tone and ambiance of this film reminded me of other Tennessee Williams works. The atmosphere is open, naked, and almost frightening; Williams's plays always introduce characters that are very human--weak, lonely, unsettled--and deeply passionate. He doesn't take care to hide the frightening and desperate side of people even though we may not want to see that. He makes no exception in this piece, and this sense of humanity is most effectively portrayed through Magnani.

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