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Escape by Night (1960)

Era notte a Roma (original title)
TV-PG | | Drama, War | 5 July 1961 (France)
Three allied prisoners, a Russian, an American and an Englishman, attempt to escape with the help of a young couple from Rome.


Roberto Rossellini


Sergio Amidei (story), Sergio Amidei (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Leo Genn ... British Major Michael Pemberton
Giovanna Ralli ... Esperia Belli
Sergey Bondarchuk ... Soviet Sergeant Fyodor Aleksandrovic Nazukov (as Sergej Bondartchoux)
Hannes Messemer ... German Colonel Baron Von Kleist
Peter Baldwin ... American Lieutenant Peter Bradley
Laura Betti ... Teresa
Rosalba Neri ... Erika Almagià
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Giulio Calì Giulio Calì ... Driver of the Fake Nuns
Sergio Fantoni ... Don Valerio
Roberto Palombi Roberto Palombi ... Sor Giacinto
George Petrarca George Petrarca ... Tarcisio
Carlo Reali Carlo Reali ... Augusto Antoniani
Enrico Maria Salerno ... Doctor Costanzi
Renato Salvatori ... Renato Balducci
Paolo Stoppa ... Prince Alessandro Antoniani


During WW2, in Rome , a trio of escaped Allied POWs find themselves in limbo as they try to avoid re-capture and reach their dispersed units. Michael Pemberton is a British Major, Fyodor Aleksandrovic Nazukov is a Soviet Sergeant and Peter Bradley is an American Lieutenant. A beautiful young Italian woman, Esperia Belli, agrees to give them shelter. She knows that despite Italy's efforts to break with Nazi Germany and join the Allies there are some Italians who are Fascist sympathizers and would gladly denounce Esperia to the German authorities. Hiding enemy soldiers or escaped POWs is punishable by death. Esperia hopes to get in contact with the Italian anti-Fascist resistance which could help the three escaped Allied POWs rejoin their respective armies. Until then, the fugitives are stuck in Esperia's attic. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 32106 delivered on 17-6-1960. See more »


In the attic, after about 20 minutes, the strings of a harp are briefly touched. However, the resulting sound is not from a harp, but rather from the strings of a pianoforte being strummed. See more »


Referenced in Rossellini visto da Rossellini (1993) See more »

User Reviews

Rossellini's WW2 Drama Misses The Mark
13 August 2014 | by strong-122-478885See all my reviews

For starters - At an unbearable 134 minutes, this 1960, WW2 Drama, directed by Italian film-maker, Roberto Rossellini, was truly something of an endurance test for this frustrated and bored viewer.

Escape By Night's action (or lack of it) was set at such a deliberately s-l-o-w snail's pace, and every situation was dragged out beyond reason, that, sure enough, I ended up nodding off to sleep more than once.

On top of that, this wartime picture did not contain one, single battle scene in it. You can be sure, had a few worthwhile explosions taken place, here & there, that definitely would have helped to alleviate some of this story's stifling monotony.

In this tale of cat-n-mouse, all that Rossellini seemed concerned about was dealing with the trifling personal dramas that dogged its characters.

But, unfortunately, this directorial short-sightedness on Rosellini's part didn't go over very well with this viewer, since none of the characters in the story were really all that interesting or worthy of much attention to begin with.

Believe it or not - The absolute highlight of this mundane picture was when a turkey (that's right - a turkey!!) escaped from Esperia's home and this excitement sent all of the delighted, neighbourhood children scampering down the dirty street after it.

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Italy | France


Italian | German | Russian | English

Release Date:

5 July 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape by Night See more »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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