General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

General della Rovere (Il generale Della Rovere) Reviews

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½ July 12, 2017
Vittorio De Sica gives one of his best performances in Roberto Rossellini's WWI film.
½ August 29, 2016
A powerful and dramatic story about one poor man that relates volumes about individual psychology, political repression, and war.
January 29, 2013
As usual with Italian 1950s-60s films, this isn't a barrel of laughs, but it is very powerful and intelligent. De Sica brilliantly plays a likeable chancer who becomes embroiled in the seriousness of his surroundings when 'asked' by the Germans to impersonate the accidentally-executed General della Rovere He soon lives out the part so well, he becomes as much of a General as the General was. At 2hrs 12m, this isn't a short film, and I felt it sagged a little in the middle after a great start, but the ending made up for it. An easy 8/10.
½ August 6, 2011
El general de la Rovere [1959]
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2011
This one took me by surprise. Instantly my favourite Rosselini, it might not be as raw as his earlier movies but the scenario is just so good and the charismatic Vittoria De Sica shows that he is just as talented in acting as in directing. Loved every second of it!
August 13, 2010
I still have yet to see one a Rossellini film that really knocks my socks off. It's gotten so I kind of dread watching them, not because they're bad or boring, it's just something about him that doesn't click with me. Having said that, this was still pretty good. It's about a con artist/opportunist who gets recruited by the Nazis to impersonate a general in the partisan forces. Vittorio De Sica is excellent in the lead, making the character just slimy enough to be believable but allowing him enough redemption so the audience can root for him. There's a slightly dull section about halfway through, right after he takes up the Rovere persona, but things pick up again as the situation develops and his feelings become more complex. There were some strong photographic elements, and the movie kept me fairly engaged.
½ June 21, 2010
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
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2010
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.
August 14, 2009
Cracking picture of sin and redemptionTrademark Rosselinin march to the gallows executed (pardon the pun) with expertise and beauty
August 6, 2009
In the End, Whose Side Are You On?

You know, somebody yesterday indirectly said I wasn't a [i]real[/i] film buff, because I use Netflix, and it's only for people who want to watch recent blockbusters. It is, admittedly, true that I get a lot of the more obscure stuff I watch out of the library, and a lot of what I get from Netflix is older classics or otherwise things the library doesn't have. However, I have to point out to you that this review is the first user review in the system for this movie. That has been the case several times lately, one of the few interesting things from the new site being that they show you a few examples of what other people thought. (This has only added to my certainty that I'm one of the only people around here who really writes reviews more complicated than "OMG this was awesome!" So much for uniformity, huh, Rotten Tomatoes?) I admit that I turned off a couple of movies this morning before getting to this one--I turned off [i]In Her Shoes[/i] yesterday because of my fantasies of Cameron Diaz's character getting raped and murdered, too. So I'm not sure my choices have much to do with my film-buffitude.

There was a point during World War II when the Germans had invaded Italy, and the Allies had not yet liberated it. Most Italian films about the war take place during this time, because we all know it's easier to make the Nazis villains. We like to ignore home-grown fascists. At any rate, Grimaldi (Vittorio De Sica) isn't a fascist. He isn't really much of anything. A compulsive gambler, really, chronically in debt and mooching off anyone he can. This entangles him with his local SS office. He pretends to be providing assistance to families who have come in search of a loved one in Nazi custody, but it's basically a con to pay off debts incurred when he gambled money entrusted to him by SS Colonel Mueller (Hannes Messemer). When he isn't quite successful at this, when Mueller discovers his con, Mueller gets him to substitute for Italian hero General Victorio Emanuele Bardone Della Rovere, who has been shot and killed but is eagerly awaited by the partisans. Having a General Della Rovere in place can be very helpful to them, and it will stop Grimaldi from being shipped off to Germany.

Only of course it isn't that simple for Grimaldi. Everyone in prison wants to feel important to the general. One man eagerly asks if Della Rovere remembers the man's brother, who served as a signalman in Africa. The prisoners, mostly condemned to death, want to feel that they are remembered. They want to feel that their deaths will not be in vain, that there will be an Italy that remembers and honours them. The war will be over soon; even the Nazis know that by this point. Grimaldi must bear their hopes. In order to get the information he has been sent into the prison to get, he must inhabit the character of the general. It is, I think, difficult to do that without really learning what the person is about and probably starting to feel that, to feel how important it is. To feel the person's own wants and dreams and needs. If it is possible, it is not possible for Grimaldi.

I like that this film doesn't slip into the Italians=good/Germans=bad false dichotomy. Grimaldi is a conman. He's a compulsive gambler. He gives his girlfriend a fake ring, and when she breaks up with him and gives it back--because she knows it's fake--he takes it to all the other people he can find in order to try to sell it to some other sucker. Hells, come to that, he was willing to go into the prison to find someone who was just fighting for Italy in the first place. On the other hand, when Mueller says he doesn't want to torture Bianchelli (Vittorio Caprioli), he really does mean it. It isn't a cinematic moustache twirl. He finds Bianchelli important to the smooth running of the prison--he's been in for three months on a death sentence, something Nazis were generally not, as a rule, hesitant to carry out, but he speculates he's still alive because they don't have another barber. He is actually angry at Grimaldi because of what his foolish actions set in motion.

Rossellini is another one of those directors whose style I am not able to pick out of a series of clips. However, this is a very cleanly made film. There do not seem to be wasted shots. He does not work to make it pretty. It did strike me as odd that the prisoners would get the (relatively) comfy beds and the thick, warm blankets, but I don't know what an actual [i]prison[/i] in Italy under the Nazis was like. There is a shot here of people walking in the snow that, to me, feels like the shot in [i]Schindler's List[/i] where the Poles are walking through what looks like snow and, horrifyingly, is not. It would not surprise me to find out that it's intended to, that Spielberg was aware of this film. Rossellini also shows us an Italy with which we are not familiar. This Italy is not all sunny and warm and friendly. People forget, for example, that there is such thing as the Italian Alps. These people dealing with the snow are not like those in [i]Amarcord[/i], dealing with a freak event. This is something with which they are used to. Like they do with the Nazis, they must just deal with it.
August 1, 2009
This is my favorite Rossellini movie I've seen yet.
½ July 25, 2009
Ha quedado un poquito antigua, pero coincido con Javier Cercas en el parecido entre el personaje del protagonista y Adolfo Suarez
½ May 24, 2009
of rossellini's B&W work, this is my favorite - better than open city, paisan, europa 51 etc. for me, da sica's performance made this. i knew he was a very good actor as well as accomplished director but he was incredible in this. his tale of redemption is awe inspiring and given that he was being directed by his friend rossellini, you can tell that he was enjoying the role. thanks criterion for releasing it
April 25, 2009
El filme sirve como alegoria sobre la condicion que vivieron los italianos al termino de la segunda guerra mundial. Rossellini un director que filmaba sobre todas las cosas la realidad, la situacion social de la sociedad italiana, la decadencia moral que supuso el fascismo. La pelicula es una grandiosa demostracion de las cualidades del director filmando cada detalle que complementara esa realidad que el busca siempre plasmar fielmente. Una pelicula post neorealista (el neorrealismo ya habia acabado unos aƱos antes) ya que tiene diversos elementos que dieron a conocer al director por ROMA CIUDAD ABIERTA, una pelicula valiente para la epoca en que se dio.

Para muchos Rossellini es el director de la conciencia historica, sobre la funcionalidad de la historia para un progreso moral eso lo demostraria todavia mas con sus ultimos tele-filmes sobre diversos acontecimientos historicos (la toma de poder de Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Socrates son algunos de esos telefilms).

La actuacion de De Sica wow de primer nivel reflejando ese progreso del personaje de su decadencia hacia la redencion.
April 14, 2009
A gripping character study that becomes a bleak tale of enforced redemption and regret.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2008
nominated for best foreign film by NBR
September 25, 2007
the italian golden era of movies:D...must see
September 5, 2007
A classic... Too bad its not available.
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