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General Della Rovere (1959)

Il generale Della Rovere (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 11 November 1959 (France)
Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.

Director:

Roberto Rossellini
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vittorio De Sica ... Bardone AKA 'Grimaldi'
Hannes Messemer ... S.S. Colonel Mueller
Vittorio Caprioli ... Aristide Banchelli
Nando Angelini Nando Angelini ... Paolo
Herbert Fischer Herbert Fischer ... Sergeant Walter Hageman
Mary Greco Mary Greco ... Vera (the madam)
Bernardo Menicacci Bernardo Menicacci ... Prison guard
Lucia Modugno Lucia Modugno ... Partisan girl
Luciano Pigozzi ... Prisoner
Kurt Polter Kurt Polter ... German officer
Giuseppe Rosetti Giuseppe Rosetti ... Pietro Valeri
Kurt Selge Kurt Selge ... Marshall Schrantz
Linda Veras ... German attendant
Sandra Milo ... Olga
Giovanna Ralli ... Valeria
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hero...or Fake? See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | German | French | Hebrew | English

Release Date:

11 November 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

General Della Rovere See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

French visa # 22970. See more »

Quotes

S.S. Colonel Mueller: [Talking about Della Rovere] Listen, these notes mention that he speaks fluent English, French, and German.
Victorio Emanuele Bardone: I know a few words in French.
[Speaking in French]
Victorio Emanuele Bardone: Place your bets gentlemen. All bets have been placed.
S.S. Colonel Mueller: All bets have been placed, eh?
Victorio Emanuele Bardone: Do you know what is the cause of all my troubles? Gambling! I always lose! What's more, I always pay, and I've never cheated.
S.S. Colonel Mueller: I hope I won't be the first to find otherwise. This is no game we're playing, Colonel!
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Connections

Referenced in Ingrid Bergman Remembered (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating left-wing WWII movie

The story of the film concerns "Colonelo" Bertone a self-appointed community intercessor and thief in World War II Italy, passing on bribes from families to the Germans in order to help their sons (or gambling away the bribes and eating their food parcels). It's definitely a film of two halves, the first half of the movie to me feeling decidedly Pasolinian. Bertone, though undoubtedly a scoundrel does his best to keep people happy, is a character that spreads a certain amount of charm in the world. For some people who have never known love or had anyone to look up to, he provides a show, his charisma is like ambrosia. Having been brought up with Protestant vales it has been a revelation to me in life how people value charm as most precious, a Veblen good, more prized when it is most demanding, how a charming person is valued above all others even when they live in a moral vacuum.

The second half of the movie is, in structure, a more conventional prison movie where Bertone, working for the Germans in order to save his skin, becomes an impostor pretending to be Generale della Rovere. Whilst pretending to be the general he begins to assume many of the general's characteristics. This part of the film is very patriotic, and contains a beautiful fresco of Italian cities on the prison wall. The ideology of this part of the movie is all about recognising the efforts of the largely Communist, Partito d'Azione and Socialist partisan resistance, bodies who were largely excluded from the post-fascist Italian government, which was dominated by the Christian Democrats, who many felt to have been tainted by association with fascism.

Pontecorvo's movie Kapò was released contemporaneously, and features a similarly caricatured version of the Teutonic gaoler and slightly ebullient view of World War II, that would become refined in future decades. That said, Il Generale della Rovere, is undoubtedly a masterpiece.


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