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The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962)

 -  Comedy | War  -  20 June 1962 (USA)
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Charlton Heston stars as an American soldier behind Italian lines in World War II. In order to communicate German movements to the Allies, he uses carrier pigeons fitted with messages. As ... See full summary »



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Title: The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962)

The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962) on IMDb 6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Captain Paul MacDougall / Benny the Snatch / Narrator
Antonella Massimo
Sgt. Joseph Contini
Salvatore Baccaloni ...
Ciccio Massimo
Marietto ...
Livio Massimo
Gabriella Pallotta ...
Rosalba Massimo
Col. Sherman Harrington
Arthur Shields ...
Monsignor O'Toole
Rudolph Anders ...
Col. Wilhelm Krafft
Vadim Wolkowsky ...
Conte Danesi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nick Borgani ...
Relative at Easter Dinner
Maj. Wolff
Bob Gandett ...
The General
Dick Nelson ...
The Chief (FDR) (scenes deleted)


Charlton Heston stars as an American soldier behind Italian lines in World War II. In order to communicate German movements to the Allies, he uses carrier pigeons fitted with messages. As he grows more and more in love with the daughter of the family he stays with, the father accidentally feeds the pigeons to his family for Easter Dinner. Written by Jeremy Kirk <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At Last! A Motion Picture That Delivers


Comedy | War


Approved | See all certifications »




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Release Date:

20 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Americans Go Home  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Salvatore Baccaloni's last film. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over images of American soldiers moving out of Italy. This is followed by a shot of a pigeon who winks at the camera. See more »


Spoofs The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

A Lame Pigeon
11 February 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

There are certain actors who should not do comedy and Charlton Heston was one of them. His no nonsense granite personality of integrity was out of place in a film like The Pigeon That Took Rome. The part looks like it was written for Rock Hudson.

Heston does his best however as an infantry officer who together with an Italian speaking sergeant Harry Guardino is sent days before the Allied liberation of Rome into the Eternal City. The cautious Allies want to find out if Hitler really means to evacuate and leave it an open city or will he fight for it.

A prime mover in the underground is Monsignor Arthur Shields at the Vatican playing a character based on the one that was the central figure in the later film The Scarlet and the Black that starred Gregory Peck. He gets Heston and Guardino, disguised as priests, into the home of Salvatore Baccaloni with daughters Elsa Martinelli and Gabriella Pallotta and their little brother Marietto.

That family has its own problems, Pallotta is pregnant via another American who was a flier later killed by the Nazis. She's got to get married and quick and sizes up Guardino as a likely prospect.

With Nazi communication detection techniques Heston is forced to use those old reliable carrier pigeons. But when Baccaloni plans a feast for the daughter he uses those same pigeons that could signal the Allied advance into Rome as disguised quail. What to do?

The only time Heston ever successfully essayed comedy was in the Private War Of Major Benson in which his stern countenance was played against by the kids of the military school and his lady interest Julia Adams. It doesn't work in The Pigeon That Took Rome and a lot of potentially funny stuff just falls flat.

Chuck's next visit to Rome was The Agony And The Ecstacy. He was a much better Michaelangelo than a spy.

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