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Automobile / L'Automobile (1971)

Anna Magnani , Alfredo Giannetti  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Magnani
  • Directors: Alfredo Giannetti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006H3KQP8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of Divorce Italian Style, The Automobile, starring Italian movie icon Anna Magnani with music composed by the genius Ennio Morricone, is a classic example of 70s Italian style drama. Anna is an experienced prostitute who is perhaps a bit past her prime but has become an institution to the Roman nightlife. However, reflecting upon her life and hoping for a way out she purchases a convertible. She decides to take a trip to the beach in her new automobile and in the process ends up giving a lift to two young guys. Things deteriorate from there and she gets involved in a car accident that seems to take her right back to where she started.


This film was Magnani's last great performance and has remained very little seen outside of Italy, so RaroVideo's presentation is most welcome. Recommended. --Twitch Film

A well-acted dramedy featuring an impressive performance from Magnani, The Automobile gets a completely respectable North American home video debut from Raro, who continue to unearth interesting titles from Italy s film vaults. --Rock Shock Pop

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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Until Anna Magnani, there was a different style of acting. Acting style before Magnani consisted of uptight WASPs, i.e., Katherine Hepburn; Greer Garson; Deborah Kerr. When Magnani burst on the scene in the late 1940's and early 1950's she exposed not only a different type of acting but an insight into a different culture. A Mediterranean culture and style.

Anglo-Americans had never seen such a thing before on the big screen. Magnani was more than a mere actress; she was a representation of a different way of life, a Mediterranean woman in cinema. Katherine Hepburn, for all her talents, is not a Mediterranean woman. Neither is Greer Garson nor Deborah Kerr nor Ingrid Bergman nor Vivian Leigh nor Bette Davis nor Joan Crawford nor any other actress before Magnani.

That is what makes L'Automobile so compelling: a Roman actress acting in the heart of Rome.
Watch and study this film. Watch and study Magnani. You will be more than entertained; you will be enlightened. This is " la donna meno Americanizzato nel mondo" the least "Americanized" woman in the world. You will be watching a true Roman in her environment. You will learn more about Italian culture, specifically Roman culture, by studying this woman. Everything she does is natural. Everything she does seems (I write "seems" because she IS acting) so real. Magnani is so ROMAN!!
She is so Italian !!
That is why Magnani will always be the greatest actress because she is more than an actress. She is the embodiment of Rome.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In 1971, a three film mini-series ("L'Automobile, "1943: Un incontro" and "La Sciantosa") which aired on Italian television and would feature the work of filmmaker/writer Alfredo Giannetti ("Divorce Italian Style", "Il ferroviere", "A Man of Straw"), the music of Ennio Morricone ("The Untouchables", "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", "Once Upon a Time in the West") and most notably the final year of acting for renown actress Anna Magnani.

For many cineaste and those who have watched many Italian Neo-Realism films, Anna Magnani is an actress who was important to cinema as she was known for her roles such as Roberto Rossellini's "Rome, Open City" (1945), Luchino Visconti's "Bellissima" (1951), Daniel Mann's "The Rose Tattoo" (1955), Sidney Lumet's "The Fugitive Kind" (1959) and Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Mamma Roma" (1962) to name a few.

So, for many cinema fans, 1971 was the final year to watch Anna Magnani and suffice to say, many fans tuned in.


"L'Automobile" is presented in 1:33:1, color and and monaural Italian with English subtitles.

Picture quality for a 1971 film is actually very good, as the film doesn't look like an early '70s film in the fact that it's not that aged. In fact, the film looks a lot better than some '90s films that I have watched on video, so the overall picture quality is pretty good for its age, considering the film is 40-years-old and is a TV film.

Audio is monaural, Italian dialogue was clear as with Ennio Morricone's score. English subtitles are white and easy to read.


"L'Automobile" comes with the following special features:

Original Trailer - (1:44) The original theatrical trailer for "L'Automobile".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars joo jo from east baltimoe July 22, 2013
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The last work of a great actress! Anna Magnani was a force of nature, like Bette Davis! Her earthiness, her eyes, and her depth of emotion was unequalled! This is a story made for Italian television, and it is sort of heartbreaking!
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE AUTOMOBILE Only Moves At A Snail's Pace May 15, 2012
After the end of the second World War, the Italians apparently began a cinematic experiment of their own: they wanted to capture on film the daily lives and struggles of the poor or working class citizens. This "movement" was called Neorealism, and it basically sought to explore the psyche of every day people. (Hat/tip: Wikipedia)

As an example, say you get up today, and you want to make yourself some pancakes. You go to the fridge, open it up, and realize you're out of eggs - a requirement of the pancake mix. So, you dress and head down to the corner grocer. Once there, you find eggs on sale for $1 a dozen, so you decide you'll have two - two dozen, not only two eggs. You pick up your cartons, and you head for the cashier. Once in line, you run into an old friend who asks you what you're doing. You tell the old friend about your love of pancakes and your need of a good egg. She nods politely, and, then, there's this uncomfortable moment where neither of you speak. Next, you pay for your eggs. Back home, you park the car, head for the kitchen, and realize you're now hungry for cereal.

Seriously: that's the film. That's the Italian neorealist film, at its heart.

Is that something you want to watch?

L'AUTOMOBILE (THE AUTOMOBILE) stars Anna Magnani as "Anna" - a prostitute - in her ongoing bid to buy a car, and this 70's gem of Italian cinema isn't really that at all: from what I've been able to uncover about it, it never played theatrically, only on television. Needless to say, Anna's experience doesn't unfold much in the way she wanted, and much of this discovery comes from walking around on the streets talking to people about ... well ... you guessed it ... about buying a car.
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