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Rossellini examines a marriage in crisis,
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This review is from: Journey To Italy  [DVD] (DVD)
An English couple (Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders) travel to Naples in order to dispose of a house owned by a recently deceased relative. This journey precipitates a crisis in their relationship which is exacerbated by the relaxed and sensual Neapolitan atmosphere which contrasts with their sterile marriage. This uneven examination of a troubled bourgeois marriage contains many powerful moments. Derided upon its initial release, the film's reputation has since been embraced by the likes of Francois Truffaut and Martin Scorsese. The director, Roberto Rossellini, uses the historical landscape of Pompeii and Vesuvius as a metaphor for both the decay and lack of life (the couple have no children) in their marriage. Cinematically speaking, the highlights of the film are the four visits to cultural and historical sites: the museum, the caves, the sulfur pits and Vesuvius itself. Bergman and Sanders are quite good with Sanders in a refreshing change of pace from his jaded cad roles. Still, what is one to make of the abrupt and emotionally false "happy" ending which comes in the last two minutes of the film? I saw the 81 minute cut which seems to be the only available version of the film which might explain the phony ending. Apparently, the original cut was around 97 minutes.
The BFI release from Great Britain is a very nice transfer in the proper 1.33 aspect ratio.