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 location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life for Romans is still difficult with the Nazi occupation as there is a curfew, basic foods are rationed, and the Nazis are still searching for those working for the resistance and will go to any length to quash those in the resistance and anyone providing them with assistance. War worn widowed mother Pina is about to get married to her next door neighbor Francesco. Despite their situation - Pina being pregnant, and Francesco being an atheist - Pina and Francesco will be wed by Catholic priest Don Pietro Pelligrini. The day before the wedding, Francesco's friend, Giorgio Manfredi, who Pina has never met, comes looking for Francesco as he, working for the resistance, needs a place to hide out. For his latest mission, Giorgio also requests the assistance of Don Pietro, who is more than willing as he sees...Written by
In Axis-controlled Rome, a strong-willed priest Aldo Fabrizi (as Pietro Pellegrini) plans to officiate the marriage of matronly and pregnant Anna Magnani (as Pina) while assisting a resistance leader Marcello Pagliero (as Giorgio Manfredi) hunted by the Nazis. This neo-realistic classic has shown its seams, over the years; in my most recent viewing, the soundtrack music, while not bad in itself, would have added much by its exclusion. Still, this is a powerful drama, with chilling last scenes involving the principal characters that do not diminish in their intensity. This was widely considered the best foreign language film of the year, by which time director Roberto Rossellini had released the similarly acclaimed "Paisan" (1946).
******** Roma, citta aperta (9/27/45) Roberto Rossellini ~ Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani, Marcello Pagliero, Maria Michi
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