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Rome, Open City [DVD] [1945]

4.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani, Marcello Pagliero
  • Directors: Roberto Rossellini
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Mono, Full Screen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Mar. 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002X9CIZG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,203 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Roberto Rossellini directs this 1940s drama about the last days of the Nazi occupation of Italy during World War II. Resistance leader Giorgio Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero) flees the Gestapo and seeks a place to hide with the help of his friend Francesco (Francesco Grandjacquet), his pregnant fiancée Pina (Anna Magnani) and the priest who is due to marry them, Don Pietro Pellegrini (Aldo Fabrizi). Giorgio's ex-girlfriend Marina (Maria Michi) betrays him and his fellow fighters to the Gestapo in order to get her hands on some luxury items and it's not long before the Nazis and the local police find him and Don Pietro. They are captured and tortured but will they crack under the pain or be executed for their silence?

Review

Rossellini's study of resistance, shot in war-ravaged Rome in 1945, is a masterpiece.***** --Mark Kermode, Observer

A thrillingly real drama about events fresh in the mind. ***** --Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Robert Rossellini's post-war melodrama is an uncompromising vision of a proud city in desperate times. ***** --Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A letter in SIGHT AND SOUND, August 2005:
"Your review of the Region 2 DVD release of ROME, OPEN CITY (S&S JULY) fails to note some significant differences between it and the previously available VHS edition on Connoisseur.
This DVD release is remarkably similar to that currently available in the US, with all its faults. Its opening title card is the US-inspired OPEN CITY, not ROMA CITTA APERTA, nor is it laid over Rossellini's famous vista of the city with the prominent dome of St. Peter's and Rossellini's dedication. This is no mere detail, as the long shot of the city acts as a bookending device and gives weight to the resigned march of the urchins back to the city at the end of the picture. Moreover, a significant cut is made during Manfredi's torture scene which is present in the original European print as reproduced on the Connoisseur video. This cut significantly undermines the power of the sequence and its redemptive ending.
In short, this new release does not do justice to Rossellini's original. Until such time as a more complete original version is available, your readers should be aware of flawed attempts to present this great film's release on DVD as definitive."
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Format: DVD
It is difficult to convey how frustrating it was to watch this dvd. The print used is horrendous - jerky, washed out and full of crackles. The sound too is below acceptable standards. But worst of all, the subtitles are absent for a large part of the dialogue, leaving the viewer confused as to what is actually going on. Great films like this should be treated with much more respect.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like world cinema and have an interest in film history then there's plenty to enjoy in this major work of Italian neorealism. But be warned, the picture quality is poor and there are large segments of dialogue which are not translated.
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Format: DVD
Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977) entered the world of cinema by making propaganda films for Mussolini, an apprenticeship which would shape his perception of cinematography as an art form which must endeavour to cast off the hydra of State control and political manipulation.
"Roma, citta aperta" is seen as the birth of neorealist cinema - a form characterised by its humanism and attempt to deliver social reality, using authentic locations, handheld cameras, available light, and 'natural' performances from a largely amateur cast. It was the first in Rosselini's trilogy ("Rome, Open City", "Paisàn", and "Germany, Year Zero") exploring the effects of war, and is widely regarded both as his masterpiece and as a pillar of post-War European cinema.
Conceived and begun during the German occupation, while Rossellini was himself in hiding, "Rome, Open City" is set in Nazi-ruled Italy. It takes the camera out of the studio and onto the streets, capturing graphic, near documentary images and transporting the viewer into a world which is apparently real. There is none of Hollywood's glitz and glamour, here, but raw life and bitter social commentary.
German soldiers search for a resistance leader who had fought the Fascists in Spain and who has gone on to organise the underground in Italy. Lest we see this as a tale of good versus evil, Rossellini presents a naturalistic world of Rome, rife with black marketeers, food shortages, exploitation and manipulation, collaboration, and a priest who is evidently not enamoured of the Fascists and who is prepared to work with the communist resistance to defeat what he perceives as the greater evil.
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Format: DVD
This DVD claims to be 'digitally restored' but, as others have pointed out, the quality of the transfer is atrocious. Of course 'digitally restored' could simply mean that the film has been 'restored' from celluloid to DVD -- it certainly doesn't seem to have had any proper restoration work done on it.
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Format: DVD
This is NOT a rating for this film quite the opposite. This is purely for this version of the film. DO NOT BUY THIS DISC. Missing subtitles and very poor image. Buy the BFI release from 2015 instead. (DVDs are separate the collection is ok Blu ray)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this arrived in excellent condition, well packaged and on time. I would use the seller again. thank you.

I've read a lot about Roberto Rossellini as I am in the middle of reading Ingrid bergman's autobiography, and I've read Isabella rossellini's first part of her autobiography. this film is everything it is cracked up to be, very moving and involving. the only problem I have with it is the way two of the german officers are portrayed as more evil than their counterparts because they are gay or seem to be. I realise this is a sign of the times in a way, but I've experienced this hatred close to home and it makes you despair at people's lack of humanity sometimes.

anyway, watch this film, it will be worth your while. the English subtitles can be supplemented by the intelligent but accessible commentary than runs alongside them. this one is staying in my collection.
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Format: DVD
This 1945 film directed by Roberto Rossellini is rightly acknowledged as a ground-breaking masterpiece, with its semi-documentary, hand-held camera shooting style and uncompromising narrative making it one of the first (and one of the most compelling) of the Italian neo-realist films. The film's outstanding cinematic qualities are, of course, all the more remarkable given the tortuous process Rossellini had to go through to secure funding for the film and that the director in the main cast novice actors for his film. By contrast, Rossellini was no doubt on a firmer footing with his principal production collaborators for the film, his brother Renzo composing the film's by turns rousing and haunting score, and veteran cinematographer Ubaldo Arata providing the film's innovative and evocative visual feel.

Rossellini's tale of a war torn city under occupation, as the local resistance force struggles against the Nazis, is hardly original fare (great films on similar themes set in Morocco, France and Poland spring immediately to mind), but Rome, Open City is notable for its unflinching, even brutal, treatment of the horrors of war. This is a city in which black market operation (storming the bakery for much needed supplies) is big business and where the local populace dream of the arrival of the Americans, but also where their Nazi (and Italian collaborating) oppressors will frequently resort to torture to obtain details on Rome's resistance groups.
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