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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2002
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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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2003
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2007
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2001
Let me clear up first that my actual rating for this film is 4 and a half. Though this film is not THE best adaptation of a Tennessee Williams' play it is a very good and a very different one. It's about a grieving widow(Anna Magnani) who is woed by a boisterous truck driver(Burt Lancaster) who she says looks like her dead husband, only he's more wacky! The highlight of this film is the wonderful performance given by the great italian star Anna Magnani. Evidently she really impressed Hollywood because she was given the Academy Award for best actress for this film, something that rarely happens to a foreign actress and she was the first. The only other foreign actresses to recieve this honor have been Sophia Loren and Simone Signoret and Ingrid Bergman if you count her as a foreigner and many British actresses but i want to get back on subject. The first hour of the film belongs to Magnani and while she does manage to hold our interest it begins to feel a bit boring after one hour. But then finally Burt Lancaster shows up and he manages to lend her great support and their chemistry together is comically romantic.The movie is well done if a bit stagey at times but Anna and Burt help make us forgive that. The film is a great character driven movie and it's great to start with this film if you want to decide to start seeing Magnani's movies.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 1999
This is a favorite of mine. Even though this movie was made 15 years before I was born, it tells the story of a woman with passion and how she learns to live again and to not prevent her daughter from loving a man even though her own husband has betrayed her trust and love. To find new love, to leave behind grief and allow a goofy Burt Lancaster to make her see the silliness in life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2001
Magnani's performance has been etched in my mind since 1955 when this film was released! I was 4 years old and my Mother took me to the movies on a warm Fall day. I loved her as a child and love her still! I've seen this film at least 15 times and Magnani still sends shock waves through me! As an Italian American I am proud to call this MAGNIFICENT actress one of my own but aside from Magnani the film is a true classic! The story is great and Marisa Pavan is wonderful as the daughter and don't forget to look for Jo Van Fleet in a small part. Miss Van Fleet, a great character actress only proves what "they" say;"there are no small roles, only small actors" Don't miss this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2007
Anna Magnani's Oscar winning performance sizzles through the decades and retains poignancy. Her organic method creates a believable and sympathetic character. The stereotypical view of Italians however is worse than the Soprano's. We even enjoyed second viewing with my 82-year-old father who said that Ms. Magnani's portrayal of the Italian immigrant seamstress was an early example of a more naturalistic approach to acting.
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