Bread and Tulips
. I should have included my review here as well:Rome, Open City
(1945): It is the spring of 1944, the Italians have changed sides but the Germans have occupied northern Italy including Rome. However, there is a resistance movement in the hills with contacts with the legitimate Italian government and the Germans are determined to suppress it through force and torture. In particular, they are hunting for Giorgio Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero), one of the resistance leaders.
Don Pietro Pellegrini (Aldo Fabrizi) is a priest who aids the resistance, including providing false documentation. Pina (Anna Magnani) is on the eve of her wedding to Francesco when Manfredi appears on her doorstep and she is suddenly much too deeply involved.
Great film, directed by Roberto Rossellini, with brilliant performances by Fabrizi and Magnani; this film made them internationally famous and won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival. The story of how the film was made in the ruined city on a shoestring and a prayer is almost as dramatic as the film itself. I didn't care for Maria Michi or Harry Feist, but most of the cast is fine, especially considering a lot of them are non-actors. Stronger in the first half before
the film becomes more conventional. The script was nominated for an Oscar and was written by Sergio Amidei and some obscure Italian named Federico Fellini, who later went on to direct a film or two.