• Italy
  • 1945
  • 100 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.37:1
  • German, Italian
  •  
  • Spine #497

This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring some well-known actors—Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancée of a resistance member—Rome Open City (Roma città aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work garnered awards around the globe and left the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake.

Cast

Don Pietro PellegriniAldo Fabrizi
PinaAnna Magnani
Giorgio ManfrediMarcello Pagliero
MarcelloVito Annicchiarico
AgostinoNando Bruno
Major BergmanHarry Feist
IngridGiovanna Galletti

Credits

DirectorRoberto Rossellini
ScreenplaySergio Amidei
with the participation ofFederico Fellini
CinematographyUbaldo Arata
EditingEraldo Da Roma
Art directorRosario Megna
MusicRenzo Rossellini
Assistant directorSergio Amidei

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Peter Bondanella
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “Rome Open City,” a 2006 documentary on the making of this historic film, featuring rare archival material and footage of Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Ingrid Bergman, and many others
  • New video interviews with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Rossellini and the City, a new visual essay by film scholar Mark Shiel (Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City) on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in the war trilogy
  • New video interview with film critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, who discusses the filmmaker and the role of religion in Rome Open City
  • New and improved English subtitle translations

Film Essays

Rome Open City: A Star Is Born

By Irene Bignardi January 26, 2010

"All roads lead to Rome Open City,” Jean-Luc Godard once said, playing on the old Italian proverb—and meaning, we can assume, that when thinking about modern cinema, one always has to come to . . . Read more »

Chef du Cinema

Chef_du_cinema_rome_open_city_thumbnail

Chef du Cinema: Rome Open City

By Ron Deutsch April 20, 2012

Cabbage soup for the soul. Read more »


The Art of War

October 19, 2011

For designer Jason Hardy, the box set Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy was a daunting assignment. As he tells us in an engrossing and in-depth blog post, creating the covers for these three . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have sprung up over the past week or so. A good place to start is DVD Beaver’s annual poll, which ranks the . . . Read more »


On Five

Criterion in Bologna

July 07, 2010

Two of Criterion’s 2010 releases were honored at last week’s Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, organized by the Cineteca di Bologna: By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volume Two won the top prize for DVD . . . Read more »


Clippings

The Trilogy According to John Bailey

June 07, 2010

We’ve drawn your attention before to award-winning DP John Bailey’s informative, entertaining blog on the American Society of Cinematographers website, in particularhis in-depth introduction to . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

February 01, 2010

The critics agree that Criterion’s release of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy, featuring major restorations of the unassailable landmarks of Italian cinema Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Rome Open City: A Star Is Born

By Irene Bignardi January 26, 2010

"All roads lead to Rome Open City,” Jean-Luc Godard once said, playing on the old Italian proverb—and meaning, we can assume, that when thinking about modern cinema, one always has to come to . . . Read more »