Il Generale Della Rovere (The Criterion Collection)
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SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
New video interviews with Isabella, Renzo, and Ingrid Rossellini, as well as film scholar Adriano Aprà
New visual essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic James Monaco and an excerpt from a 2000 interview with Indro Montanelli, author of the story that inspired the film
Top Customer Reviews
Eventually, things take a turn in a variety of ways. At that point I had no idea what was going to be the outcome. As a favor to you, I'll let you have the same opportunity. I was more than satisfied with the ending although it wasn't exactly what I expected.
There is a professionalism to "General Della Rovere" that had it scoring high in my book. The directing, the interpositioning of newsreel footage and cinematic creation, the sense of uncertainty, the excellent preformances from top to bottom; all this and more was very impressive. Above all was the role of Vittorio de Sica whose mascarade had already fooled us enough times that we were on our own as to what to believe about him. I kept trying to figure out where I had seen the German Colonel before until I recalled that he was the camp commander in "The Great Escape". His performance in this film was equally compelling.Read more ›
The movie is about the evolution of morality in an individual- a man who is a loathsome gambler and con-artist who manipulates innocents trying to seek some aid, any aid, to help their loved ones in Nazi captivity. He accepts money to make them believe he has contacts with the Nazis and can help their relatives. When the scoundrel is captured and revealed for the lier that he is, he is turned over to a German police colonel in Italy. But that officer is clever. He even appreciates the skill used to betray others. So the colonel offers him a job. He believes that he can use this "con artist" to get information from partisans in prison and cover up the mistake of his staff in killing the real partisan leader - Generale Della Rovere. And so the anti-hero whose trade is "the lie" is hired to impersonate "the Generale".
But once in prison, our scoundrel learns the true meaning of love for country and love for family. Indeed he discovers for himself that ordinary Italian men are willing to endure torture to save "his skin" [In making this sacrifice, they earnestly believe he is the Generale]. And so the character changes and grows in humanity. I won't give the ending of the film away... but I thought this movie was as strong an entry of Italian Neorealism as any other picture of the genre. It's a true masterpiece that is overlooked.
Legendary Italian Director/Actor Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves) gives a marvelous performance as the Lead in this film, which takes place in german occupied Italy during the year before the end of the second world war. This film, which I assign mainly to the genre of 'Non-Action-War-Films', includes but isn't limited to another genre and executes this not only as a very early one in cinematic history but even as one of the greatest examples I have seen so far (I will hint to it on the bottom, right under a warning).
There are no purely 'evil' or 'good' characters here. The overall sensible, complex, realistic and human approach to all the characters, their subjective positions, logics and judgment, specifically the ones of the two leads, are as astounding and touching as they are shocking.
In addition, the film gains from it's accuracy of the linguistic conditions and contains of just the right portion of cinematic pathos.
Watch my also recommended 'House of Games (David Mamet, 1987) afterwards and you will know which genre I revered to! :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Roberto Rossellini may be the single most under-appreciated director in the history of cinema. While Fellini has risen to god-like status, Rossellini remains rather obscure to the... Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by Professor Brizz
Il Generale Della Rovere was one of Roberto Rossellini's most successful films (winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), commercially, and there is a simple reason... Read morePublished on July 29, 2009 by Cosmoetica