Roberto Rossellini - Rotten Tomatoes

Roberto Rossellini

Lowest Rated:   67% Les Carabiniers (1967)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Rome, Italy
The son of a wealthy Roman architect, writer/director Roberto Rossellini was more technically than artistically inclined when he began making amateur films as a teenager. From his first project in 1934, Rossellini was far more fascinated with the mechanical intricacies of dubbing, editing, and photography than with such things as plots and performers. His 1938 short subject Prelude a l'apres-midi d'une Faune, was considered worthwhile enough by some film-industry insiders to warrant a theatrical release; unfortunately, it was banned by Italy's censorship bureau on the grounds of indecency. Even so, when Vittorio Mussolini -- the dictator's movie-executive son (and a family friend) -- invited young Rossellini to become a professional filmmaker, the 22-year-old dilettante jumped at the chance. Assigned to direct a documentary about an Italian hospital ship, he expanded the project into a fictional feature, La Nava Bianca, completed in 1940 and released the following year. During the war, Rossellini found himself in the delicate position of acting as technical director for fascist-commissioned films, all the while secretly shooting documentary footage of anti-Mussolini resistance fighters. In 1943, he began work on what many consider the first neorealist film, Desiderio, in which, utilizing a hand-held camera, Rossellini attempted to approach his subject matter as a spectator rather than director. Unfortunately, he was forced to drop the project, which would be completed by other, more conventional hands three years later. Nonetheless, his brush with cinematic naturalism had left an impression, and, in 1945, he gained international fame with his stark, neorealist feature Roma Citta Aperta/Open City. This film so impressed Hollywood producer David O. Selznick that he invited Rossellini to come to America to direct Selznick's next Ingrid Bergman vehicle. Bergman, herself, wrote an affectionate fan letter to the director, never dreaming what effect this simple gesture of courtesy would have on her life. Resisting the temptation to pack up for America, Rossellini remained in Italy to co-write and direct Paisa (1946) and Germania Anno Zero (1947), two of the most influential works of their time. He then switched focus from the devastations of the postwar era to the earthy charms of his lover Anna Magnani in L'Amore (1948). He finally met Bergman the following year, and their mutual admiration quickly deepened into love. Leaving their respective spouses, Rossellini and Bergman married in 1950, sparking an international scandal that resulted in fervent condemnations from politicians and clergymen alike. From 1949 through 1953, Bergman worked for no other director but Rossellini; the collaboration yielded one truly worthwhile film, Stromboli (1949), and a series of self-indulgent, critical, and financial disasters. Although the Bergman-Rossellini liaison produced three children (including current film star Isabella Rossellini), their relationship quickly soured. While preparing a multi-part TV documentary on India in 1957, Rossellini became involved with Indian screenwriter Somali Das Gupta, whose subsequent pregnancy effectively ended his marriage to Bergman and nearly destroyed his film career. (Rossellini's later marriage to Gupta would also end in divorce.) In 1959, Rossellini restored his tattered reputation with his best film in years, General Della Rovere, which starred fellow director Vittorio de Sica. After completing Vanina Vanini in 1960, Rossellini devoted his energies almost exclusively to TV films, turning out several respectful but non-reverential biographies of such historical figures as Socrates, St. Augustine, and King Louis XIV; three of these films would be afforded theatrical release. In his last movie, Il Messia (1978), the director once more stirred up controversy, though '70s filmgoers of were less-easily outraged than those of 1950. Rossellini died in 1977. His autobiography, My Method: Writings and Interviews, w

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Anima Nera
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2013
No Score Yet La guerra dei vulcani (The War of the Volcanoes)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet The Human Voice (Una Voce Umana)
  • Director
2001
No Score Yet Bellissimo - A History of the Italian Cinema
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Era notte a Roma (Escape by Night)
  • Director
1982
No Score Yet Blaise Pascal
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Il Messia
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1978
No Score Yet Cartesius
  • Director
1974
No Score Yet The Age of the Medici
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1973
No Score Yet Augustine of Hippo (Agostino d'Ippona)
  • Director
1971
No Score Yet Socrate (Socrates)
  • Director
1971
100% La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (The Taking of Power by Louis XIV)(The Rise of Louis XIV)
  • Director
1970
No Score Yet Acts of the Apostles (Atti degli apostoli)
  • Director
1969
67% Les Carabiniers
  • Screenwriter
1967
No Score Yet RoGoPaG
  • Director
1963
No Score Yet Vanina Vanini
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet India: Matri Bhumi
  • Director
1959
100% General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1959
95% Journey to Italy (Viaggio in Italia) (Strangers) (The Lonely Woman)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1954
No Score Yet La paura (Fear)
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Joan of Arc at the Stake
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Europa '51
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1952
No Score Yet Dónde está la libertad
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet The Machine That Kills Bad People
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1952
100% The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)
  • Director
1950
83% Stromboli
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1950
No Score Yet Desire (Desiderio)
  • Director
1950
95% Germany, Year Zero
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1949
100% Paisan (Paisà)
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Amore
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Machine to Kill Bad People
  • Director
1948
100% Open City
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1946
No Score Yet The Man of the Cross (L'uomo dalla croce )
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet The White Ship (La nave bianca)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet A Pilot Returns (Un Pilota ritorna)
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet Il Ruscello Di Ripasottile
  • Director

Quotes from Roberto Rossellini's Characters

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