Roberto Rossellini

Rome Open City

Rome Open City

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 films that would follow it to form The War 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 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.

Film Info

  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Italy
  • 1945
  • 103 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • German, Italian
  • Spine #497

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director 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
  • Interview from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Rossellini and the City, a 2009 video essay by film scholar Mark Shiel (Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City) on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in The War Trilogy
  • Interview from 2009 with film critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, who discusses the filmmaker and the role of religion in Rome Open City

Available In

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Blu-Ray Box Set

3 Discs

$79.96

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$63.96

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director 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
  • Interview from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Rossellini and the City, a 2009 video essay by film scholar Mark Shiel (Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City) on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in The War Trilogy
  • Interview from 2009 with film critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, who discusses the filmmaker and the role of religion in Rome Open City
Rome Open City
Cast
Aldo Fabrizi
Don Pietro Pellegrini
Anna Magnani
Pina
Marcello Pagliero
Giorgio Manfredi
Vito Annicchiarico
Marcello
Nando Bruno
Agostino
Harry Feist
Major Bergmann
Giovanna Galletti
Ingrid
Francesco Grandjacquet
Francesco
Maria Michi
Marina Mari
Carla Rovere
Lauretta
Credits
Director
Roberto Rossellini
Script by
Sergio Amidei
with the participation of
Federico Fellini
Photographed by
Ubaldo Arata
Art director
Rosario Megna
Music by
Renzo Rossellini
Editor
Eraldo Da Roma
Assistant editor
Jolanda Benvenuti
Assistant director
Sergio Amidei

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Explore

Roberto Rossellini

Director

A founder of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini brought to filmmaking a documentary-like authenticity and a philosophical stringency. After making films under Mussolini’s fascist regime early in his career, Rossellini broke out with Rome Open City, a shattering and vivid chronicle of the Nazi occupation of Italy’s capital, followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero, which round out his “war trilogy.” Rossellini’s adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman led to the biggest controversy of his career (they were both condemned by the United States Senate) but also to another trilogy—Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy, all starring Bergman and all about spiritual crises; they were dismissed at the time of their release but are widely praised now. Through the 1950s, Rossellini experimented with different forms, offering an ascetic religious film (The Flowers of St. Francis), a documentary about India (India), and a wartime melodrama that was one of his biggest hits (Il Generale Della Rovere). In the final phase of his career, after calling a news conference and announcing, “Cinema is dead,” Rossellini turned to historical television dramas about major subjects and figures (Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Descartes, the Medicis), made with a rational, almost scientific approach. As always, he yearned to show life’s minutiae unadorned, bare and pure. Echoes of Rossellini’s approach to filmmaking are still felt in movements around the world, from China to Iran to South America to the United States. It’s fair to say modern cinema wouldn’t exist as we know it without him.