Saturday, June 29, 2013

1973 - MASSACRE IN ROME, interesting true World War II story.


Probably not a great film but a very interesting one.  In 1944 as the Allies were closing in on Rome, Italian resistance fighters killed 33 German soldiers.  In retaliation the Germans killed 330 Italians and buried them in a mine in Rome.  The film tells the story of the efforts of an Italian priest played by Marcello Mastroianni  to stop the German commander played by Richard Burton. 

The director George Pan Cosmatos was not known for making this kind of film.  He was usually associated with big budget action films like, Rambo, Cobra and The Cassandra Crossing.  On this film he actually has a screenwriting credit.




For a couple of past their prime acting hams, Burton and Mastroianni are pretty restrained.  I almost believed for a minute that they were real characters.  Burton has always been kind of a sad case as an actor, I guy who kind of threw away his talent during his career.  He is actually pretty good in this film.

Massacre in Rome has some interesting criticisms of the Catholic Church, the Vatican and the Pope who if he didn't sanction it made no effort to stop it.  Probably the most depressing aspect of this film is the brutality of the killing the Germans committed.  A further example of the human race's ability to inflect pain and suffering on their own species.   

110 minutes.

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