"I agree with most of reviewer here that Roberto Rossellini's Open City is a great film - ground-breaking work that is yet entertaining in the most simple way. However, it appears that most of the reviewers refer to the VHS version. I bought this DVD the moment I heard that it was on DVD, and am much disappointed. Overall transfer is substandard, subtitles miss a bulk of dialogues, and most of all, there is at least one missing shot that I noticed in this transfer (It is the famous shot in which the resistant is being tortured by blowtorch). I had VHS released by Connoisseur, which is superior to this DVD on every level. So buy VHS or better yet tell Image to restore this gem."
So dark, and so brilliant.
tom | 01/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wonder about some complaints over this DVD. The transfer is fine - it's an old, black-and-white film and for all that looks pretty darn good. Less than 5% of the dialogue is untranslated in subtitles, and as an Italian speaker I can tell you what's left out is insignificant chit chat.See it for the fine performances, the achievement of its making, and for the history it portrays."
In the smallest list of the greatest films of all time
ilian73 | 08/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Open City is generally considered to be in the top ten films of all time in terms of historical cinematic importance, stylistic achievement, and emotional power. It established the modern film, using available light, actual settings and a mix of theatrical and non-theatrical actors. Its musical score is breathtaking. It remains the first modern film, the first Italian neo-realist film, and possibly the most powerful film ever made. I have seen it three times in a theatre. Each time, virtually the entire audience was overwhelmed, sobbing uncontrolably at the end of the picture. There has been so much written about this picture, I will only mention a few details. It was shot in Rome using captured German newsreal film as the Nazis left town. (Which is the reason the film quality bounces around as the differing film stocks were used.) When Ingrid Bergman saw the picture, she fell in love with the director she had never met, left her husband, flew to Italy, and married Rossellini. There are too many great scenes to list. Let me just say that the near-final scene when the little priest damns the German officer and then apologizes to God is, for me, the single greatest moment in film.Open City should be seen and owned by anyone interested in the movies."
A great film ruined by bad transfer
ilian73 | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/12/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with many reviewers here that this is truly a great film. Someone mentioned that the story is melodramatic or even propagandistic, which is true, but it is really beside the point in this case. What is important here is how the simple story is told in even simpler way in this ground-breaking film, transporting the viewers to the breathtaking moments of last days of WWII in Rome. However, I think many reviews actually refer to VHS version because DVD (released by Image, I think, from Blackwell Films) is even worse than VHS (released by Connoisseur). I bought this title as soon as I heard it was on DVD, and I was much disappointed to say the least. The transfer is substandard in overall, subtitles miss whole bulk of dialogues, and most of all, there is even a missing shot from the film (It is the famous shot in which the resistant is being tortured with torchblow). My advice is: Buy VHS (Connoisseur one), or better yet ask Image for new restored release."
Great film but poor subtile ( DVD version )
ilian73 | 12/29/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I hope Amazon can change their rating system so that I can give this film a fair rating. This is a great film ( 5 stars ) but quality of DVD is not great ( 2-3 stars )although still watchable. My biggest complaint is that Image Ent has done such a bad job on subtile which is not only brief but about 20% of dialogue were not even translated. Maybe the VHS tape version is a better choice. Just want to alert other DVD collectors."