Customer Reviews: Journey To Italy (Import Edition NTSC Region 0) (1954)
Amazon Vehicles Up to 80 Percent Off Textbooks Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Songs of Summer Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer power_s3 power_s3 power_s3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now

Format: DVD|Change
Price:$9.54+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on May 12, 2009
Though considered one of Roberto Rossellini's greatest works, this film is actually a lesser-known film of both Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman, which is a pity because it is an intriguing film, and like most art films, possessed of more real quality than most commercial releases, past or present.

Aside from its story, the film itself is a gift to posterity in exhibiting authentic street scenes, countryside, and Mediterranean landscapes and renowned destinations of Naples, Pompeii, and Capri. These real-life scenes are cinematic treasures that no vintage travelogue would ever show, living tableaus of a postwar Southern Italy that is gone forever but here captured through the eyes and lens of one of Italy's native artists who is also gone forever.

What makes the film so enchanting is that the rare and uniquely filmed scenery is metaphorical with the story, for the "journey" (voyage) of the film's title is not just a physical journey but an emotional and philosophical journey as well.

The story, superficially, is about a British husband and wife who are in Naples for the purpose of selling family land. The essence of the story derives from the couple's constant bickering, which blinds them to all that is around them - all the natural and manmade beauty of Italy that is passing before them in symbols of life and death. Each of them is too self-absorbed to realize or appreciate that everything - time, culture, way of life - is passing, just like the landscape as they drive along in their Rolls Royce, and in their blindness, they repeatedly forfeit the happiness of just being alive, together, and voyaging in Italy.

Worth seeing in the film are the dated scenes of the sculpture galleries of the Naples National Archaeological Museum, also the Solfatara Crater where a guide demonstrates the vapor phenomenon to Ingrid Bergman.

But the most significant visual art of the film - absolutely most worth the film - is a moving and pivotal scene near the film's end in which the couple (and the viewer) has the opportunity to witness an actual archaeological excavation process of on-site mould casting of skeletal remains at the ruins of Pompeii. This was a real event, not staged, which makes the cinematic and metaphorical impact all the stronger. The skeletal remains are those of a man and a woman caught at the moment of instant death from the Vesuvian eruption of 79 CE.

Just as the couple wonders, the viewer also wonders what were the man and woman doing at that last moment when death took them by surprise. Bickering? Making love?

Scenes of a beautiful religious procession conclude the film, which is only 84 minutes long. The couple is forced by the procession to stop their car. As they stand, still bickering, amid the onlookers, a miracle takes place with a blind old man who suddenly (just as suddenly as Vesuvius erupted long ago) regains his sight. In all the commotion, the couple becomes separated, which for them is the miracle that reunites them.
0Comment| 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 20, 2008
Take it like it wasn't a movie. See no stars here. Imagine this was your grandma and grandpa in those old times traveling thru Italy to sell their enchanting house in Napoli. What a collection of wonderful, captivating views! You can see the valley of the Vesubio, houses that must have been built on top of other ruined houses, again and again. It's like you traveling those places.

Now what really astonished me is not the sense of reality I got watching those locations, it was the real characters of the husband and wife. They weren't playing any roles. Their critical situation just developed normally, the way it develops in real life. It's not acting. The married couple has been drifting apart since a long time ago, and now come to a breaking point. There are no histrionics. It's just a regular couple like any other. If you don't get it, you just ain't grown up yet. I think this is one of the best films I've ever seen, but I'm still wondering why, because there's nothing grand or spectacular about it, not even mysterious, or weird. It's just plain old time good visual story telling.

Watch also Rossellini's "Stromboli". I loved both.
0Comment| 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 16, 2009
This excellent film is mis-labeled on the back cover of the DVD case: It is not in Italian~The whole original dialog is in English, with an additional track of really good commentary that provides a wealth of information, also in English. The Korean subtitles are removable, from the interactive DVD Menu. Sound is excellent, and so is the Black and White picture quality.
33 comments| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 24, 2012
This is a review of the Amazon Instant version. I don't know if the DVD has the same problems I'm about to mention. The movie itself is a masterpiece, a very important and influential film with excellent performances by Sanders and Bergman. But the quality of this copy is very suspect. First of all, it seems to be a straight VHS port. One scene even had some background buzz notable on dirty VHSs! The transfer itself was very poor, full of lines and dirt and missing frames. The PAL version overseas (and the Korean NTSC version you can purchase here) are much, much cleaner, which further makes me suspect that this was simply a VHS port. Finally, and worst of all, the audio is totally out of sync. I wonder if the DVD has the syncing issue or if this was the fault of Amazon ripping or uploading the digital copy. Whatever the case, for $12.99 you're getting very substandard picture quality and out of sync sound. Do not get this on Amazon Instant. Please, though, watch the movie.
33 comments| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 13, 2012
Update: Finally, there is a Criterion Collection edition to be available soon (scheduled to release on 24th Sep 2013): 3 Films By Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

This review is about the Korean Import Edition of this film.

As Martin Scorsese pointed out in his superb documentary My Voyage to Italy, Roberto Rossellini is of a rare breed of directors who became more adventurous when he became older. Like the love-hate relationship of Orson Welles with Citizen Kane], Rossellini came to resent the popularity of his early film "Rome, Open City" (Roma, città aperta), which puts a long shadow over any number of his best efforts in later years, some of them might be artistically more successful than their more famous kins. For example, among the few films I've watched by Rossellini, this superb film is my favorite.

The plot of the film can not be any simpler. A rich couple, Alex and Katherine Joyce, from London travels to Naples to sell a villa the husband's uncle left to the couple, and in the process their relationship goes through a period of tension and reconciliation. Now, the surname Joyce should give us some clue. The ghost of James Joyce's The Dead comes to haunt the couple during their stay in Italy: Without revealing the detailed plot, let me just say that Katherine was fervently loved by a then-deceased poet Charles Lewington, and she hides none of her admiration of Lewington's poetry. Alex's jealousy was just one of the triggers which causes the tension to boil over, leading almost to a divorce. At the end, the couple apparently reconciles with each other in a seemingly Hollywood fairy-tale style ending. However, the camera continues to wander away from two Hollywood stars' embrace and gives its own ending.

By the way, Rossellini's love of the city of Napoli is almost too obvious in the film. Some plot lines are apparently tailored, in not-so-subtle ways, to showcase many locations: Napoli museums and locations as well as nearby (partially buried) Pompeii and Capri.

Technically, the transfer is adequate, but don't expect Criterion Collection quality. (I hope that one day a more-than-adequate transfer will be available.) In spite of what is printed on the cover (of this edition), the film is in English instead of Italian. (There are Italians speaking Italian in the film.) The cover also misprinted the leading actor's name: George Sanders (instead of Sandera), who came to represent Hollywood's English gentlemen on the big screen during his time. Ingrid Bergman is Katherine Joyce, and this might just be her best film ever, shot during her short relationship with the director. There is an excellent commentary track by Laura Mulvey, who is not credited except in the beginning of commentary when she introduces herself.

This film ranks No. 41 in British Film Institute's The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time, and is highly recommended.
66 comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 4, 2012
Wonderful movie directed by R. Rossellini. A master piece starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders. The quality of this copy is very bad. Also there is NO MOTION MENU to select a scene and NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES for people who have hearing loss.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 17, 2009
At filming in 1953, Ingrid Bergman was 38, and George Sanders and Roberto Rossellini were 47. She still has her youthful beauty, compared with the coarsening of face and body that was to come with age. George Sanders has one of his best roles, where he can be more himself without the imprint of some novel characterization. Roberto Rossellini writes and directs straightforwardly, making a simple picture that was panned in its day but now surprises with its qualities.

As was Italian practice at that time, the film was shot without sound. Bergman and Sanders are a moneyed English couple, married 8 years. In the subsequent dubbing, Sanders' accent comes naturally, and Bergman sticks with her normal Americanized diction.

They are driving their car to the environs of Naples to sell a villa willed to one of them. Their verbal exchanges and behavior indicate their relationsip is rather dried out, and Sanders finally says, with minimal drama, well we should divorce.

None of the dialogue is hypercharged, no great emotional swells, these two actors don't need it. I will add, the dubbing process does shear off some of the nuance Bergman and Sanders would have imparted to live recording with an overhead mike. But hell, this once-removed quirk suits the picture.

As the film concludes, the pair in their fine automobile are brought to a halt by a religious procession in the streets. As the milling onlookers shout "Miracle!" we see a man behind the elevated statue of the Virgin Mary holding his crutches aloft and trailing after. And suddenly Ingrid and George resolve their problems. It's that modest upbeat that ends a classical symphony cleanly.

FOOTNOTE. A memorable sequence from Rossellini: Ingrid visits the Naples museum alone. The guide takes her through a high hall of epic proportions, and she and the camera view a succession of ancient sculptures, one perhaps reminding her of her lost romantic poet.
22 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 3, 2011
Journey to Italy - Viaggo in ItaliaJourney to Italy - Viaggo in Italia [DVD]

I am very disappointed with the purchase of the DVD "Journey to Italy" because of advertising posted on has a very misleading figure. Says that the Run Time of this DVD is 97 minutes, and it really is, 83 minutes, 50 seconds.
Since there is a version of director Roberto Rossellini was mutilated at the time, announced the Run time to believe that this version is very hard to find.
In contrast, the DVD sold is normally sold and I already had that I have bought in two years ago, as you can verify.
In addition, the copy is very defective.
Follow announcing another DVD of that film with subtitles in Korean with a duration of 97 minutes, I fear it is also wrong. It would be nice to do the testing to avoid scams like the one I have suffered.
I would like to receive of Amazon an answer satisfactory to my complaint.
Francesc Betriu
22 comments| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 6, 2015
This 1954 movie from the famed Italian director Roberto Rossellini explores what is now a clichéd storyline in American romantic comedies: An emotionally cold married couple travels overseas (here to Italy) on business and miraculously rekindles their relationship in an exotic adventure. However, this 87-minute European film is not a typical Hollywood romantic comedy, but a mature drama on the intricacies of married life, and it packs a few good surprises.

First, the accomplished director has cast Ingrid Bergman as the wife, giving the film a deeper gravitas than something like a Marilyn Monroe or Doris Day vehicle. British actor George Sanders, not normally a favorite of mine, is well-cast here for his ability to convey affective coldness toward the wife. Second, Rossellini knows Italy, using great locations and authentic cultural-artistic details. In particular, the film culminates in the magnificent set piece of a Catholic religious procession that conveys accurately the seamless influence of Catholicism on Italian society.Third, the movie wisely doesn't sugarcoat the nasty relationship between Bergman and Sanders, nor does it milk their coldness for laughs. They have a believable dislike for each other, building in several fights which are uncensored by modern softness.

On the other hand, the film's dialogue sometimes feels a bit stodgy, as if we're listening to an academic debate between two character types rather than the realistic conversation of two long-married people. When people say things at paries like "in a certain sense we're all shipwrecked," it feels more like the screenwriter's reflection on real life than a depiction of it. Part of that effect may simply be the dated 1950s period feel of the movie, but it does make the story a bit less accessible to modern audiences.

Ultimately, "Journey to Italy" is a good but not a great movie, worth seeing if you're a fan of Rossellini or Bergman. If not, I wouldn't call it a must-see. Unfortunately, the film is not yet available on DVD in the United States, but this Korean import disc is perfectly watchable. It plays on U.S. DVD players and the movie Is in English despite being mislabeled "Italian" on the back of the box. There are only Korean subtitles, which you may need to turn off when the film starts, and there are no English subtitles. Nevertheless, this import disc is affordable and perfectly serviceable if you can watch the film without closed captions. As the film is difficult to find and rarely broadcast on television, that may be more than enough.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 16, 2010
Ingrid Bergman looks and moves differently in this film from any other film I have seen her in. She seems more spontaneous and mercurial. Rossellini puts her into a dynamic space of busy Italian exteriors (the film is shot in black and white) and, still, Bergman looms large and holds our gaze. This is a simple story of a marriage on the verge of breaking down - that has broken down - and a miraculous recovery. Too miraculous for my taste in plausibility. The DVD has a pretty good transfer - not brilliant. The dialogue is in English, though the release is Korean. George Sanders is more obviously involved in his work than he can sometimes appear to be, and he and Bergman play off each other well. The settings are terrific - Rossellini's fine documentary eye is obvious in this respect. The reason it does not rate more highly, in my estimation, is that the story seems too much a Bergman vehicle and the ending is not satisfying. Yet any admirer of this actress would well have this in their collection for qualities brought to this performance, not seen in the more structured melodramas and suspenses of, say, her Hitchcock work.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse