7.3/10
498
8 user 13 critic

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.

Director:

Roberto Rossellini

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 Paolo Stoppa ... Prince Alessandro Antoniani
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | German | Russian | English

Release Date:

5 July 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape by Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
At night in Rome
30 July 2013 | by dongwangfuSee all my reviews

I watched this on Netflix also and although I like De Sica much better (for some reason his melodrama seems less melodramatic!) there were a few points in other reviews with which I wanted to take issue. First, the title means (I think, given my pidgin Italian) "It was night in Rome". "Escape by Night" is indeed a weird choice for an English title, but one can't really fault the movie for that. Also, as for the American acting like an Italian, even Americans can occasionally act according to the adage "When in Rome..." so I don't buy that as an indictment of the historical sense of the film.

The point that is made above about stereotypes is a good one. I would expect Rossellini to accept this criticism -- it is almost as if, fifteen years later, he is setting out to tell his story of the way Italian society adapted to the end of the occupation. The black market, the Church, the aristocracy, the professional class -- they all are caricatured, almost as if he was doing a sociological study of the time. I thought that film succeeded at that level, although of course there is really little character development if all of them are a "type."

One other distinctive feature I wanted to point out is the role of the Communists in the film - - Rossellini paints the Communists as the major anti-fascists and as having sacrificed quite a bit. This wholeheartedly positive portrayal is unfamiliar for me, as someone who grew up in the Cold War era, but according to my limited understanding, historically accurate. Since the film was made in 1960, at the end of the decade of the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, though, I wonder if this portrayal was not somewhat pointed?


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