by guest writer
Il Generale della Rovere is one of the late works in Roberto Rossellini’s filmography. Nevertheless, the movie smoothly integrates Neo-Realistic themes with war melodrama ingredients. The great director Vittorio de Sica plays the main male character, Victorio Bardone. Bardone is a petty con man, specializing in transforming people’s disillusions into freedom promises: the Gestapo forces are implicated in the scheme, taking bribery in order to facilitate easy trials and sentences.
Victorio Bardone’s luck changes when in an ambush a general of the Resistance is killed. To maintain his dignity when caught in the act by a Nazi officer, he agrees to impersonate the dead general to find out and expose other leaders of the Resistance. One of the few war movies made in Europe capable to evoke the irony and, at the same time, the despair of humans in crucial conditions, Il Generale della Rovere captures Rossellini’s talent of creating immortal stories.
photo: still from the film; production credits