Six vignettes follow the Allied invasion from July 1943 to winter 1944, from Sicily north to Venice. Communication is fragile. A woman leads an Allied patrol through a mine field; she dies ... See full summary »
A barber, murderer because of jealousy, spends twenty years in jail. He cannot, however adjust himself to a changed world and to the hypocracy of his own relatives and decides to return ... See full summary »
Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their ... See full summary »
Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War has to do all kinds of work and tricks to help his family in getting food and barely survive. One day he ... See full summary »
An old woman finds a baby among the cauliflowers in her garden. She takes care of the orphan, and calls him Totò. When she dies, he is sent to an orphanage, which he leaves as a teenager. ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Genoa, 1943. Grimaldi is a swindler, pretending to be a colonel in the Italian army to get money from the family of people put into jail by the Nazis. Once caught, the Gestapo makes a deal with him : he will stay alive if he impersonates the General Della Rovere, a leader of the Resistance who has just been shot by the Nazis, to be put into a political jail where he is supposed to identify another Resistance leader. Written by
An understated masterpiece, this film charts the moral growth in nearly the worst of times of Victorio Grimaldi played by Vittorio De Sica. Other comments set out the main lines of the plot and note the excellence of de Sica as the not-good, but not all-bad, Grimaldi who is just trying to survive, like everyone else. But it evolves in a story of one man trying to live up to the expectations of others, who have had it even harder than he has. Planted in the prison to impersonate the heroic General della Rovere, Grimaldi slowly begins to act like the leader that Rovere was. In one touching scene, while under a terrifying bombardment, he cowers in his cell only to stiffen himself to shout out encouragement to the others, before collapsing in prayer and mortal dread. In this two or three minute episode we learn more about courage than from a score of action movies and thrillers. And of course Grimaldi learns something about himself, too, in a way, and also something about General della Rovere. Toward the end Grimaldi takes on the role of the now dead general so completely that he writes a letter to the general's wife encouraging her to persevere, while he willingly faces execution by the Germans to set an example to other Italians to resist. It is a powerful story of growth, self-realization, and redemption in terrible conditions, though there is also a hint of Italian patriotism, too. The film is hard to get but I managed it a few years ago on VHS, so seekers, persist! It is worth the effort.
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