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Europe '51 (1952)

Europa '51 (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 3 November 1954 (USA)
A wealthy woman becomes obsessed with humanitarianism when her young son dies after committing suicide.


Roberto Rossellini
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Ingrid Bergman ... Irene Girard
Alexander Knox ... George Girard
Ettore Giannini Ettore Giannini ... Andrea Casatti
Giulietta Masina ... Giulietta, detta Passerotto
Teresa Pellati Teresa Pellati ... Ines
Marcella Rovena ... Mrs. Puglisi
Tina Perna Tina Perna ... Cesira
Sandro Franchina Sandro Franchina ... Michele Girard
Maria Zanoli ... Mrs. Galli
Silvana Veronese Silvana Veronese
William Tubbs William Tubbs ... Professor Alessandrini
Alberto Plebani Alberto Plebani ... Mr. Puglisi
Eleonora Barracco Eleonora Barracco
Alfonso Di Stefano Alfonso Di Stefano
Alfred Browne Alfred Browne ... Hospital Priest


Irene Girard is an ambassador's wife and used to living in luxury. After the dramatic death of her son, she feels guilty of having neglected him and feels compelled to help people in need who cross her path. One day she offers shelter to a man who is evading justice, and she ends being arrested herself. Her husband, for the sake of social propriety, arranges for a doctor to declare her insane. Irene escapes one prison to enter another, and to reflect on what sort of society she lives in. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Would she lose her husband, her home? - Her answer will stun you! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


When Michel falls down the stairs, his parents rush to the car to get him to the hospital. When his mother finds him, she is wearing the white gown she wore at the dinner. When they first arrive at the hospital, she has a fur coat on. A few hours later, suddenly she has changed into a grey suit. See more »


Andrea Casatti: Belief in a hereafter may be a helpful illusion for the ignorant. But, you, dear Irene, should try to realize, to visualize, this paradise here on earth more concretely. You and I, together...
Irene Girard: No, Andrea, I'm searching for a different path, the spiritual path. In your paradise here on earth, there is no place for Michele; because, he's no longer alive. The paradise that I dream of, is not only for the living; but, for the departed. Something eternal. And this is my paradise.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox and the other English-speaking actors dub their own voices into English for the English version. See more »


Featured in La séparation (1994) See more »


Bésame Mucho
Written by Consuelo Velázquez
See more »

User Reviews

Modern sainthood
2 May 2004 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

After filming stories about the resistance of the Italian people during the Fascist and Nazi regimes, and the story of a German child against the barren landscape of Berlin after the war, Roberto Rossellini made a movie about Francis of Assisi and started a love and work relationship with actress Ingrid Bergman. In his evolution to works like 'The Rise To Power of Louis XIV', he made a series of melodramas with Bergman, of which 'Stromboli' and 'Voyage To Italy' are always considered the most important. Add to that list this fine drama, in which bourgeois housewife Irene suffers a transformation when confronted with the misery of those who had not been benefited with the European 'economic miracle.' Considered a saint by those she helped (Giulietta Masina included), Rossellini makes quite obvious that Irene reached that state by detouring from the usual roads she took as the wife of a prominent industrialist (Alexander Knox.) Not only has she a Marxist cousin –who curiously does not preach his philosophy, but gives Irene advise whenever she talks about the misery she is discovering- but she also ventures into the slums, helps a single mother, a prostitute and a thief. The final section of the movie reminded me of 'María de mi corazón', a latter film written by Gabriel García Márquez, based on a real story. As in 'María…' there is neither opportunity nor chance to explain clearly what she's going through to husband or authorities, leading her to a dead end of desperation. Only sainthood will save her from the dehumanization around her.

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Release Date:

3 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Greatest Love See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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