General della Rovere (1959)

General della Rovere


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film, Vittorio DeSica plays a black-market criminal, arrested by the Nazis who force him to impersonate a recently executed Italian general in hopes that he will direct them to the leader of the Resistance. DeSica gives a terrific performance as the con-man who becomes a martyr.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Diego Fabbri, Indro Montanelli, Sergio Amidei, Roberto Rossellini
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 31, 2009


as Victorio Emanuele Ba...

as S.S. Colonel Mueller

as Aristide Bianchelli

as Pietro Valeri

as Fabrizio

as Valeira

as Chiara Fassio

as Contessa della Rover...

as German officer

as Fabiizio/Pietro Vale...

as Schrantz

as The Madam

as The prostitute

as German attendant
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for General della Rovere

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Although the film's second half tends to drift toward the stagy and sermonic, Bardone's transformation from a petty chameleon-charlatan to the moral hero and man of conscience is moving and potent, in no small way thanks to De Sica's carefully modulated p

Full Review… | May 20, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 2, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Rosselini enlivens a fundamentally stagebound, potentially schematic tale of personal redemption with attention to detail so painstaking, it threatens to bury the narrative.

Full Review… | December 9, 2013
The Dissolve

It's too contrived to be as good as Rossellini's WW II films from the 1940s, but it has its own unique power in chillingly capturing the collective horror of fascism at work.

Full Review… | July 2, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A fascinating crossroads in Rossellini's career.

Full Review… | March 30, 2009
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for General della Rovere

In "General Della Rovere," Colonel Grimaldi(Vittorio De Sica), retired, makes his first appearance just after curfew ends in occupied Genoa at 6:00 am when he helps Nazi Colonel Mueller(Hannes Messemer) with a flat tire. Grimaldi just blew the money that was intended to bribe a Nazi Sergeant(Herbert Fischer) to ensure the release of a prisoner on gambling which he always loses at. And his trophy girlfriend Valeria(Sandra Milo) has nothing for him, intending to leave anyway, and any attempts to sell a fake jewel prove fruitless.

Enter the piano tuner.

While some might criticize "General Della Rovere" for getting off to a slow start before the plot eventually kicks in, I think it is more a case of a carefully told study of a character who could be viewed as something of a scoundrel, cad, con man, or thief.(Did I leave out anything?) However, what is most important about Grimaldi is that he does not just pocket all of the money; he does try and help his fellow Italians with his innate charm by bribing Nazis(in wartime, everybody has their roles to play.) who after five years of war are worn down and possibly see the writing on the wall.(The Sergeant wants to be paid in cash.) There is literal writing in the notices the Nazis post, promising death for everything more severe than spitting on the street(as you can see, Grimaldi has lots of business) which is only a small part of the arresting images(including some archival footage) that director Roberto Rossellini uses to create a powerful tale of occupied Italy during World War II while avoiding easy sentimentality.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Strange film indeed. The man behind the camera is a wonderful professional and the actor is fantastic.But one really wonders why on earth Rosselini decided to go for this subject he had so brilliantly touched 15 years before.

At a time when new Europe was rising, why turn to the past in such a melodramatic way? Why offer us a sort of modern St Magdalena tale? There is something seriously off in this film entirely turned in studios, miles away from the raw strength of Roma Cittą Aperta.

Too bad

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