Roma, cittB aperta (Open City) (1945)



Director:  Roberto Rossellini

Starring:  Aldo Fabrizi (Don Pietro Pellegrini), Anna Magnani (Pina), Marcello Pagliero (Luigi Ferrari, alias Giorgio Manfredi), Vito Annichiarico (Marcello, Pina's son), Nando Bruno (Agostino, the Sexton), Harry Feist (Major Fritz Bergmann), Giovanna Galletti (Ingrid), Francesco Grandjacquet (Francesco), Eduardo Passarelli (Neighborhood Police Sergeant), Maria Michi (Marina Mari), Carla Rovere (Lauretta, Pina's sister), Carlo Sindici (Police Commissioner), Joop van Hulzen (Captain Hartmann), Įkos Tolnay (Austrian Deserter).


Rome under German occupation, 1944.  The director, Rossellini, made this movie in an attempt to "restore the nationalism from the chaos" left by the war.  And perhaps the uniting force was the common resistance to German occupation and the search for a better life.  Here, instead of fighting for Fascism, they are now doing something good by fighting against Fascism. 


Good movie. This is a story of the resistance of some Italians against the Germans and Italian fascists.

The movie begins with the Nazis raiding an apartment looking for engineer Giorgio Manfredi, leader of the Committee of National Liberation. Manfredi escapes.

The Germans have divided Rome into 14 sections. They apply their Schroeder Plan that permits dragnet operations on a large scale. They are looking for Italians who fought for "Red Spain," like Manfredi.

The Italians are hungry. There are bread riots and an active black market. Pino (Anna Mangani), a widow with one child, started one of the assaults on a bakery. She is set to marry Francesco the painter the next day.

Manfredi arrives at Francesco’s apartment building looking for him. Pino lets the man into the apartment. While he waits, Manfredi asks to see Don Pietro, the local priest. The priest arrives and agrees to deliver money for the resistance.

There must be an informer because the Germans and Italian fascists surround the apartment buildings and force everyone into the courtyard. They arrest Francesco.

Will the other members of the local resistance be rounded up? Will Pino ever see Francesco again? Will the informer be discovered?

The movie honors those Italians who resisted Italian fascism and the German occupation of Italy. To be in the resistance meant the possibility of being shot or tortured to death.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


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