General Della Rovere (1959)
"Il generale Della Rovere" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War  |  7 October 1959 (Italy)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,838 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 23 critic

Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bardone AKA 'Grimaldi'
Hannes Messemer ...
S.S. Colonel Mueller
Vittorio Caprioli ...
Aristide Bianchelli
Nando Angelini ...
Herbert Fischer ...
Sergeant Walter Hageman
Mary Greco ...
Vera (the madam)
Bernardo Menicacci ...
Prison guard
Lucia Modugno ...
Partisan girl
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Kurt Polter ...
German officer
Giuseppe Rosetti ...
Pietro Valeri
Kurt Selge ...
Marshall Schrantz
German attendant


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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

7 October 1959 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

General Della Rovere  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


During an interview to the Italian public television, Vittorio De Sica stated that the movie was shot in 33 days and edited in 10. Producer Moris Ergas wanted it ready for the Venice Film Festival in August. It won the award as "Best Picture". See more »


S.S. Colonel Mueller: Italians don't like this war too much.
Victorio Emanuele Bardone: We don't like wars at all.
See more »


Version of Il generale Della Rovere (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Appreciative blurb.
4 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Winner of many top international festival prizes, this was one of Roberto Rossellini's most widely seen films in America after OPEN CITY and PAISAN. It is a superbly written, directed, and acted drama about a petty conniver, Bertone, alias Grimaldi, played by Vittorio De Sica in what is possibly his greatest acting role. He is not above loving people and swindling them at the same time. He does this to survive the hard times of Mussolini's Salo' Republic period. The film is set in Genoa after the Badoglio armistice has been signed with the Allies in the south. Bertone tries to help Italians who have relatives imprisoned by the Nazis. Sometimes he can help; other times he cannot but always takes their money. When his game is finally up, he is imprisoned but offered an opportunity by the Germans. He is to impersonate a revered partisan leader already killed by the Nazis in order to furnish them information on another partisan leader in the anti-fascist underground. It is at this point that Bertone gradually undergoes a transformation, choosing patriotism over capitulation. The con-man becomes a hero. Other standout performances here are given by Sandra Milo as a prostitute, Hannes Messemer as the Nazi commandant and Vittorio Caprioli as an inmate barber.

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