Genoa, 1943. Grimaldi is a swindler, pretending to be a colonel in the Italian army to get money from the family of people put into jail by the Nazis. Once caught, the Gestapo makes a deal with him : he will stay alive if he impersonates the General Della Rovere, a leader of the Resistance who has just been shot by the Nazis, to be put into a political jail where he is supposed to identify another Resistance leader.Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #463. See more »
Throughout the film, S.S. Colonel Mueller is addressed as ' Herr Obersturmbannführer' (Lieutenant Colonel) but his rank, as indicated by the collar patches on his uniform, is that of a 'Standartenführer' (Colonel). See more »
A film of deep personal and spiritual transformation that is rarely, if ever, seen in today's films (especially from Hollywood).
I fully agree with all the glowing accolades of other commenters and totally disagree with the one commenter who thought it was "uneven." This is one of the greatest films ever made, partly because the humanity of the characters and the choices they must make are really what life is all about. If only present-day film makers (producers, directors, writers, etc) would concentrate their efforts towards making films of this caliber, what a much better world this would be. Instead, desiring profits over quality, they go for the lowest common denominator, and continue to make films bereft of the poetry of life, and full of gore, violence, guns, explosions, terror, and all sorts of ugliness and gratuitous noise. They think "this is what the public wants." How wrong they are. One interesting aside: I believe that Rosselini wasn't really as satisfied with this film as much as audiences are. If that rumor is true, it can only be an example of an artist not realizing the impact and importance of a particular work they have created.
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