Open City


Open City

Critics Consensus

Open City fills in the familiar contours of its storyline with three-dimensional characters and a narrative depth that add up to a towering -- and still powerfully resonant -- cinematic achievement.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,225
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Open City Photos

Movie Info

This was Roberto Rossellini's revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Rome Open City is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II.

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Marcello Pagliero
as Giorgio Manfredi
Aldo Fabrizi
as Don Pietro Pellegrini
Harry Feist
as Maj. Bergmann
Vito Annichiarico
as Marcello Pina's Son
Carla Revere
as Lauretta
Nando Bruno
as Agostino
Carlo Sindici
as Police Superintendent
C. Sindici
as Chief of Police
Akos Tolnay
as Austrian Deserter
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Critic Reviews for Open City

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (13)

  • The neo-realist film's genius lies in a slow undertow, inexorably dragging the audience from laughter to tears.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Handheld cameras tremble with the urgency of open wounds and violent emotion in Roberto Rossellini's 1945 drama of the Italian resistance to the capital's occupation by Nazi Germany.

    Oct 26, 2016 | Full Review…
  • A world cinema landmark, but that dusty, respectful word does not do justice to a film that has not lost its power to surprise and even shock.

    Feb 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Today it doesn't feel like a documentary at all. It's a street opera, caught on camera during wartime, a story performed by a mixed cast of amazing professionals and earnest non-professionals.

    Oct 31, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The torture and execution scenes are harrowing and moving.

    Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Roberto Rossellini's benchmark 1945 work of abrasive political realism presents a crumbling Rome that's been ravaged by war.

    Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Open City

  • Nov 15, 2014
    This quintessential classic of Italian Neorealism is an unsettling and hard-hitting portrait of an era, shot in a gritty documentary-like style and with a gallery of fascinating characters that represent, each of them, a facet of Roman society under Nazi German occupation.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2011
    "Rome Open City" is the first of Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy and is a stunning and realistic look at wartime Italy through the eyes of those that lived it. It's one of the most influential and prolific of all the Italian neorealist films and a tremendous show of bravery by all involved in the creation of the film. Rossellini who was aided by Fellini and Amidei making the screenplay had to film in secret using scavenged film stock and no sound equipment due to the Germans and was filmed in Rome shortly before its liberation. The realities of war are terrifying and realistic and don't always end happily. "Rome Open City" preserves a time and place and helped found a powerful and beautiful style of cinema that continues inspiring and capturing the hearts and souls of all those who see it! A masterpiece that shouldn't be missed.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2010
    altho not the first nor the definitive neorealist film, it was the one that caught the world's attention. filmed in the streets under difficult circumstances shortly after rome's liberation and still thrilling to watch, the film follows resistance fighters and ordinary people trying to get on with their lives in the wake of nazi occupation. the criterion edition with high def digital transfer looks terrific. if you've tried watching this before but was put off by poor picture quality and bad subtitles check it out now :)
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A great early Italian Neo-Realism film, a must see.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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