6.0/10
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The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962)

Approved | | Comedy , War | 20 June 1962 (USA)
In 1944, two American spies, posing as priests, infiltrate German occupied Rome to relay information to HQ but can only communicate via pigeons due to the imposed radio silence.

Director:

Melville Shavelson

Writers:

Donald Downes (novel), Melville Shavelson
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Captain Paul MacDougall / Benny the Snatch / Narrator
Elsa Martinelli ... Antonella Massimo
Harry Guardino ... Sgt. Joseph Angelico
Salvatore Baccaloni Salvatore Baccaloni ... Ciccio Massimo (as Baccaloni)
Gabriella Pallotta ... Rosalba Massimo
Brian Donlevy ... Col. Sherman Harrington
Marietto Marietto ... Livio Massimo
Rudolph Anders Rudolph Anders ... Oberst Krafft
Arthur Shields ... Monsignor O'Toole
Debbie Price Debbie Price ... Luigina Massimo
Vadim Wolkonsky Vadim Wolkonsky ... Conte Danesi (as Vadim Wolkansky)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nick Borgani Nick Borgani ... Relative at Easter Dinner
Gary Collins ... Maj. Wolff
Bob Gandett Bob Gandett ... The General
James Garde James Garde ... Messenger
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Storyline

Charlton Heston stars as an American soldier behind Italian lines in World War II. In order to communicate German movements to the Allies, he uses carrier pigeons fitted with messages. As he grows more and more in love with the daughter of the family he stays with, the father accidentally feeds the pigeons to his family for Easter Dinner. Written by Jeremy Kirk <kirkman316@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's scandalous! It's spicy! And it has the year's sauciest cast See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

20 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Americans Go Home See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title was "The Easter Dinner." See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, SS members use the Wehrmacht (German Army) equivalent ranks when addressing one another.In reality, members of the SS only used their SS ranks when addressing each other. See more »

Quotes

Antonella Massimo: [laughingly] You ate your own Air Force, captain!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over images of American soldiers moving out of Italy. This is followed by a shot of a pigeon who winks at the camera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le Bonheur (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slight but fun.
19 March 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During WWII, two soldiers (Charlton Heston and Harry Guardino) are sent on a secret mission in Nazi-occupied Rome. However, the organized resistance they are told to make contact with doesn't really exist--it's just a couple pathetic souls. So, the two soldiers just hide out in the city--making note of the German forces and sending messages back to headquarters with homing pigeons. There's MUCH more to the film than this, but I don't want to give too much of the plot to you--in case you haven't seen it.

While the above sketchy outline doesn't sound the least bit funny, the film is very much a tongue in cheek comedy. LOTS of complications develop as well as romance. The bottom line is that the film is a decent light comedy--the sort of thing they began making in the 60s and 70s--once memories of this god-awful war began to fade. A cute but slight story worth your time.

By the way, the Irish priest (Arthur Shields) might well remind you of Barry Fitzgerald by his look and performance. Well, that's because despite the different stage names, Shields WAS Barry Fitzgerald's brother! Also, while a small role, I loved Rudolf Anders' performance later in the film. Seeing this German commander losing his mind was HIGHLY entertaining and his phone conversation was the best part of the film.


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