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Escape by Night (1960)

Era notte a Roma (original title)
Three allied prisoners, a Russian, an American and an Englishman, attempt to escape with the help of a young couple from Rome.



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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
British Major Michael Pemberton
Esperia Belli
Sergey Bondarchuk ...
Soviet Sergeant Fyodor Aleksandrovic Nazukov (as Sergej Bondartchoux)
Peter Baldwin ...
American Lieutenant Peter Bradley
Hannes Messemer ...
German Colonel Baron Von Kleist
Don Valerio
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Doctor Costanzi
Prince Alessandro Antoniani
Renato Balducci
Laura Betti ...
Rosalba Neri ...
Erika Almagià
Giulio Calì ...
Driver of the Fake Nuns
George Petrarca ...
Carlo Reali ...
Augusto Antoniani
Leopoldo Valentini ...
Sor Alfredo, Porter


During WW2, in Rome , a trio of escaped Allied POWs find themselves in limbo as they try to avoid re-capture and reach their dispersed units. Michael Pemberton is a British Major, Fyodor Aleksandrovic Nazukov is a Soviet Sergeant and Peter Bradley is an American Lieutenant. A beautiful young Italian woman, Esperia Belli, agrees to give them shelter. She knows that despite Italy's efforts to break with Nazi Germany and join the Allies there are some Italians who are Fascist sympathizers and would gladly denounce Esperia to the German authorities. Hiding enemy soldiers or escaped POWs is punishable by death. Esperia hopes to get in contact with the Italian anti-Fascist resistance which could help the three escaped Allied POWs rejoin their respective armies. Until then, the fugitives are stuck in Esperia's attic. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War






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Release Date:

31 July 1960 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Escape by Night  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 32106 delivered on 17-6-1960. See more »


In the attic, after about 20 minutes, the strings of a harp are briefly touched. However, the resulting sound is not from a harp, but rather from the strings of a pianoforte being strummed. See more »


Referenced in Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Well done...
20 November 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica are two directors known for being the premier Neo-Realists. A Neo-Realistic film is one which is not filmed on sets but in the natural environment. And, the actors in the movie aren't professional actors. And, the stories are about ordinary folks. They were made this way simply because Italy was in ruins following WWII and this was the only way the COULD make pictures. While "Escape by Night" is by Rossellini and looks a lot like a Neo-Realist film, it isn't quite. It sure has the look and the story is about ordinary folk but the people in the movie, at least in starring roles, are real honest-to-goodness actors--mostly because by 1960 the Italian film industry was strong and growing. Had the film been made a decade or so earlier, it probably would have been an actual example of Neo-Realism. Now this does not mean the movie is bad in any way...it's not.

This is the story of three soldiers who have escaped from a Fascist concentration camp, and American, an Englishman and a Russian. While this composition isn't realistic, it made for an interesting film. And, there were a lot of escaped Allied prisoners who were helped by ordinary Italians according to this film. The plot is VERY simple...the three men are shuttled from home to home to home until they could either make their escape or they would be liberated by the approaching troops.

The acting and sets are all very realistic and the film is engaging. Perhaps it's not exactly fun or a must-see but it is well made.

By the way, one of the more interesting cast members here is the Russian actor, Sergey Bondarchuk. While not a household name outside the old Soviet Union, this man was an incredibly brilliant director as well and helmed perhaps the most incredible Soviet movie ever made, "War and Peace". Depending on the edit, this sweeping sage is between 4 and 8 1/2 hours long! I'm crazy...I've seen it twice...the long version!

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