General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere) (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere) (1959)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In General Della Rovere, a black market criminal (Vittorio DeSica) is arrested by the Nazis, who forces him to impersonate a recently executed Italian general in hopes that he will direct them to the leader of the Resistance. DeSica, who normally directs films, gives a terrific performance as the con-man who becomes a martyr.

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Cast

Vittorio De Sica
as Victorio Emanuele Bardone/Grimaldi
Hannes Messemer
as S.S. Colonel Mueller
Vittorio Caprioli
as Aristide Bianchelli
Guiseppe Rossetti
as Pietro Valeri
Ivo Garrani
as Fabrizio
Sandra Milo
as Valeira
Anne Vernon
as Chiara Fassio
Baronessa Barzani
as Contessa della Rovere
Kurt Polter
as German officer
Kurt Selge
as Schrantz
Mary Greco
as The Madam
Lucia Modugno
as The prostitute
Linda Veras
as German attendant
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Critic Reviews for General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

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

May 20, 2009 | Full Review…
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.

December 9, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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.

July 2, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

A fascinating crossroads in Rossellini's career.

March 30, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for General della Rovere (Il generale 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.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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