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The Rose Tattoo (1956)

Anna Magnani , Burt Lancaster , Daniel Mann  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan, Ben Cooper, Virginia Grey
  • Directors: Daniel Mann
  • Writers: Hal Kanter, Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ERX1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,246 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rose Tattoo" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Upon meeting Alvaro, a happy and carefree man who reminds her of her deceased husband, Serafina emerges from her reclusive life and finds solace in this man who is startlingly similar to her beloved husband. Not only does Alvaro have the same occupation as her late husband, but he also has the same rose tattoo on his chest. Seeing these common traits between the two men as a sign, Serefina’s life takes a change for the better.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifica! April 26, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Anna Magnani perfectly portrays Tennessee Williams "Serafina DellaRosa", the love lost heroine of his beautiful play.Her portrayal is completely touching and awe-inspiring. I recently shared this film with a very accomplished actor friend who had never seen it, and his reaction was "wow." This is one of my all-time favorite films, and I consider Magnani's performance, for which she rightfully won the Academy Award as best actress, to be one of the most beautiful ever filmed. She says more with her eyes then most actors could ever convey in a whole script.Filmed on location in old Key West, it is steeped in the sleepy, humid atmosphere of that wonderful place. Watch for the bar-fight scene, where Magnani walks in to confront her dead husbands mistress. You will spot the mustachioed Tennessee Williams at the bar. His long-time lover, Frank Merlo, to whom he dedicated the book version of this play, "To Frankie, In Return For Sicily", is also in the fight scene.You can still visit Tennessee's little house in Key West,though it is not on any tour nor open to the public, just ask the locals. You may see the little plaque "the Rose Tattoo", on the gate.If you haven't seen this film (or even if you have), sit on the floor with a glass of red wine & someone you love, and watch the beautiful Anna Magnani create magic from Tennessee Williams equally magical "love play to the world", as he called it.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Odd Couple January 11, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
THE ROSE TATTOO is about an Italian widow (Anna Magnani) in the bayou country who grieves over the memory of her dead husband. She is courted by the village clown (Burt Lancaster) who tries to help her let go of her memories. The rose tattoo is significant because the deceased had one on his body.
Magnani is superb as the grieving Serafina Delle Rose. Lancaster manages to pull off his role as Alvaro Mongiacavallo mainly because of his enormous energy. However, it is difficult for me to take his impersonation of an idiosyncratic Italian American seriously.
The movie won Academy Awards in 1955 for Best Actress (Anna Magnani), Black and White Cinematography and Black and White Art Direction. Nominations were received for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Pavan), Black and White Costume Design and Editing and Scoring of a Dramatic Picture. The Oscar for Best Picture in that same year was given to MARTY.
THE ROSE TATTOO was adapted for the screen from a play by Tennessee Williams who served as the screenwriter for the film. It was shot on location in old Key West.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ok, it's a LITTLE bit stagy January 21, 2005
in parts, and Lancaster's performance is a little over the top here and there, but this is still an absolute classic. Anna Magnani is nothing short of magnificent, and while Lancaster does get a hair hammy in spots, his character is so buffoonish and likeable, he ends up being almost as endearing as Serafina.

The best way to enjoy it to the fullest? Stop reading about it, and just watch it. You won't be sorry.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painful to Watch Burt October 12, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Burt Lancaster is one of my all-time favorite actors. But it is painful to watch him in this movie. His terrible accent jumps between Sicily and the Bronx. He is "Elmer Gantry" without the proper role or dialogue to match his performance or ability. He is terribly miscast and unconvincing as Alvaro to Anna Magnani's Serafina.

It is no coincidence that for a movie that won three Oscars and received an additional five nominations Lancaster received no recogniton whatsoever from the Academy. He is as convincing an Italian as Donald Trump would be if he tried to act like a modest man.

Magnani won the academy award as Best Actress for her performance in a very bad year for movies (1955). In "The Rose Tattoo" she merely bounces from one emotional outburst to the next, screaming and yelling in each scene. She brings no nuance or subtlety to the character. Marisa Pavan, who plays her daughter, does. Her character's struggle to find love while dealing with an irrational, raging mother brings out a genuine sweetness in her performance.

Magnani's performance with Marlon Brando in "The Fugitive Kind" (1959) is far superior to this one. In that movie, as the long suffering wife, she is sublime and sensual. Her character's strong emotional longings are barely concealed beneath the surface until Brando walks into her life and ignites them.

Either the writing, direction, or both in "The Rose Tatoo" prevent Magnani from exhibiting the dynamic acting ability displayed in the later movie. But Burt, it hurt to watch you in a role you never should have taken, no matter how bad the dialogue.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In love the word never can not breathe! March 2, 2006
The lovely and sidereal Italian actress (By far the best Italian actress of the Century and one of my top ten choices ever) plays the role of a tempestuous Sicilian woman who dresses a rigorous mourning but after having met a rude truck driver your libido will reborn. One of the most eefctive works of Tennessee Williams.

She won deservedly, the Academy Award as Best Actress in 1955.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rose Tattoo June 27, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Magnani was already an international star when lured to Hollywood to do this sterling adaptation of Tennessee Williams's play. The earthy, fiery Italian actress inhabits the central role of Serafina like a second skin. Magnani's powerfully expressive face betrays the conflicting emotions of a proud but wounded woman facing the prospect--and attendant risks--of new love. Though Lancaster is miscast as Alvaro, he wins points for spirit and effort.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rose Tattoo
This was the best Dvd I could ever get! Another rare Dvd thats nearly impossible to find in a store! Thank you! Im a big fan of Anna Magnani!
Published 3 months ago by Kimberley Barca
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Mercedes64
Magnificent Film making at it's best ! What a delight to watch ! They deserved the Academy Awards and Best Actress Award.
Published 6 months ago by M.Mercedes Ortiz
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I thought
To bad this film did not deliver what I was hoping for so sent on to a friend. Both stars are far better thatn this film. would not reccomed this film for someone to buy.
Published 12 months ago by Carol L. Iingraham
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
I really love the actors in this film. The chemistry between Burt and Anna was sexy and sweet. The theme of love (beween both the young couple and the older one) was brought to the... Read more
Published on September 6, 2012 by Helen Dixon
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rose Tattoo
This DVD was purchased as a Christmas gift for my sister. I have not seen the film and have not received any feedback from her as yet.
Published on January 18, 2012 by Desert Swan
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnani's Brilliant American Debut
Magnani didn't speak English, but it didn't stop her from winning the Oscar (and inspire a classic bit from Woody Allen). Read more
Published on April 11, 2011 by Sebastian Daniel
4.0 out of 5 stars Viva Anna!
Showcase for the volcanic Italian earth goddess Magnani is still potent as she brings primo 50's hunk Lancaster to a boil. Read more
Published on February 12, 2011 by martylee13045x
5.0 out of 5 stars Rose Tattoo, Sicilian Mirror
This amazing story focusing upon the motif of a Rose tattoo takes place in a mid-20th-century American community of Sicilian immigrants. Read more
Published on January 28, 2011 by Char
3.0 out of 5 stars Little Sicily
Tennessee Williams wrote this play for Magnani, so it's no surprise that she shines in this role. Rather than trademark decadence, this South focuses on the Sicilian immigrant... Read more
Published on August 4, 2010 by Stefania Casi (The Cultural Sojourner)
2.0 out of 5 stars Overwraught Disaster
After watching Anna Magnani in THE FUGITIVE KIND, I wanted to see all of the movies she had starred in. Read more
Published on May 5, 2010 by Theresa Williams
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