(Review originally written at 9 May 2009)

This movie could had easily turned into a typical mid-'40's WW II flick that either focused on the Allied forces or the underground resistance in Italy. The story however features 6 different stories, which all have in common that they are set during the Allied invasion of Italy, from 1943 to 1944. Each story features different characters and tells a new story, set in a different town. The different stories variate from being romantic ones to the more action filled ones. It keeps the movie interesting and just makes it a little bit more special and original than your average usual WW II movie, made in the mid-'40's.

It's a shame that the picture quality of this movie isn't that great to watch anymore. Like so many European movies made during that particular ear, this movie could really do with a restoration. That way this movie can also receive a new world wide release and can be watched by more. It's a movie that deserves to been seen, like so many other Roberto Rossellini movies as well.

With in mind that this movie got made shortly after the war had ended the movie of course didn't had a very big budget to spend. This can mostly be seen back in its acting performances. Rossellini often used non-professional 'actors' to give his movies a more authentic feeling over it but I think in this case it doesn't always quite work out. This isn't really a complaint when watching the Italian actors, since I hardly speak any Italian but it is distracting with its American actors, who are often just saying their lines instead of acting them out. Perhaps this is also Rossellini, who perhaps didn't spoke enough English to really direct the 'foreign' actors. I don't know the back-story about this but it seemed to me that all American soldiers in this movie were real actual American soldiers who were still in Italy at the time of this production.

Of course also not all stories are as good as the others. Or better said, not all stories are as interesting as the others. Also the fact that this movie features quite many different stories makes the movie feel a bit long at times, even though the movie is only 2 hours (at least the version I saw).

Nevertheless I wouldn't ever call this movie a bore. Roberto Rossellini knows to tell the stories and without ever letting the movie feel like a disjointed one. He definitely shows his skills with this movie.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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