Il Generale Della Rovere

1959 [ITALIAN]

Drama / War

0
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 3340

nazi italy brothel resistance con man

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Vittorio De Sica as Bardone AKA 'Grimaldi'

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by planktonrules 9 / 10

an exceptional Italian film

Unlike some Italian films (such as several by Fellini), this is a very direct and approachable film for the average viewer--no symbolism, odd camera-work or surreal aspects at all. As such, it's a good film as an introduction to international cinema.

Vittorio De Sica does a marvelous job playing the role of a rogue who swindles money from desperate relatives seeking information and help about their loved ones held in Nazi jails in occupied Italy. Eventually, it all catches up to him and he is offered a chance to avoid a LONG jail term or even execution--he is to impersonate a general who is leading those Italians seeking to expel the Germans. It seems the Nazis accidentally killed this general when he was trying to escape and they wanted to PRETEND he was still alive in order to smoke out members of the resistance. At first, De Sica agrees but over time he has a hard time remaining so cynical and self-absorbed. His transformation seems believable--from a thief to a patriot and is well worth watching.

Reviewed by stefano1488 8 / 10

Life during wartime

I have little to add to what the first two commentators have written.

Rossellini has a penchant for melodrama and rhetoric, but, fortunately, he keeps this tendency for the most part in check in this case. This film is dry and sober, and yet touching in the way it describes the transformation of a petty swindler, who manages to survive by cheating those who are unlucky enough to have their loved ones arrested by the Nazis and try everything they can in order to save them from execution or deportation to Germany, into a man who realises that, when faced with the choice between right and wrong, he ultimately has to take sides. And, when the time comes, he will do what his conscience will tell him to do, even though this will mean his own death.

Vittorio De Sica is great, as usual, in this dramatic role as well as in his comic ones. Non-Italians may find interesting the fact that Vittorio De Sica was himself an unrepentant gambler in real life as well, to the point that, if I'm not mistaken, his dead left his family saddled with debts. The film also gives a good idea of what life was like for ordinary Italians under the German occupation between 1943 and 1945. Many had to make difficult choices in a confused situation, and they reacted differently. Some took sides and risks, on both sides; others tried to survive. Some came to accept humiliating compromises in order to save their loved ones from death (consider the character of Borghesio, the old, retired lawyer who mortgages his house in order to gather the money that is needed in order to buy the German officer responsible for choosing the prisoners who are bound to be sent to Germany as forced labourers, which often meant death, or of Ms Fassio, the wife who ends up humiliating herself in a desperate and vain attempt to rescue his husband and is torn between her inner contempt for the Nazis and the urge to do everything possible to save his husband). Some others tried to profit from the situation. Some others made different choices in different moments, sometimes cynical parasites, sometimes heroes. However, everyone faced dilemmas, often about their very survival.

Reviewed by Pierre-Paris2 10 / 10

Those Chilling Moments Of Truth

Roberto Rossellini, as a filmmaker, cannot be compared to anyone else. Not because of any camera technique but because his mind, to tell a story, took shortcuts through truly dangerous territories. The nervous center of the Italian human nature is dissected with fierceness, compassion and even a touch of admiration. Redemption coming in the most unexpected form as a last, final test. Who am I, really? Could I at the last moment of my life become the man I always wanted to be? Beautiful, poignant, terrifying. Vittorio De Sica gives one the best performances of his eclectic and extraordinary career. The traveling of his thoughts seem to come out of the screen with the same intensity as his real smallness, his fear, his painful self awareness. Truth, with all is uncomfortable connotations 24 frames a second.

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