Europe '51


Action / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.6 10 2392


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January 16, 2016 at 02:43 AM


Ingrid Bergman as Irene Girard
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768.46 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
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1.63 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ncweil 6 / 10

Ingrid Bergman is a wealthy distracted mother. Her 12-year-old son's abrupt death triggers a search for meaning in a life that suddenly seems frivolous.

Roberto Rossellini's film starring his lover Ingrid Bergman casts her as a spoiled wife in a wealthy set in Rome in the early 50s. Her 12-year-old son, striving to get her attention, succeeds tragically, and in the aftermath she throws herself into efforts to help some of the multitude of people impoverished by the war. A friend who's a newspaperman and socialist nurtures her interest with books and projects, but political solutions seem spiritually empty to her, so she continues to seek her own way. Though her friendly acceptance by poor people seems improbable, she revels in the vitality of their lives, in contrast to the chill of her aristocratic class. Some fine minor roles include Giulietta Masina (Federico Fellini's muse) as a single woman with six children, who can't wait to get together with the likely father of number seven. This cheery earth-mother, who bathes, feeds, and lovingly scolds her brood, through Bergman's intervention gets a factory job - I couldn't help wondering who was going to look after her bambini while she was at work all day. Later Bergman shields a young man involved in armed robbery, and though he turns himself in, the police chief's attention falls on her - what is she up to and why? Obviously, she must be insane. And off to the asylum she goes, more agreeably than I would have expected. Her husband visits to speak to the doctor, but not to her. As she settles into the community there, it grows apparent that she's getting further away from ability to return to a "normal life" in her class. The kindness she feels toward humanity finds an outlet in responding to the distress of fellow patients, and finally she becomes something of a saint. It's all so heartfelt and innocent - an antidote perhaps to the horrors of the recently ended war? Rossellini likes to put her in surroundings that contrast with her character, to heighten her changes of heart - but he also likes to dress her in expensive dresses and furs - this woman is not the Ilsa Lund of Casablanca - she has the passion to do good for others, but she is also a woman accustomed to luxury, for which the director offers no apology.

Reviewed by valadas 7 / 10

A matter of conscience

This movie deals really with problems that have to do simultaneously with individual conscience and social questions in this world of ours. This is too deep a theme to be efficiently put in cinema and the movie resents this. However that beautiful woman and great actress called Ingrid Bergman takes us more or less well into these complicated moral, psychological and social entanglements. A rich woman becomes after her son's (still a child) suicide, possessed by the feeling that she has been very selfish till then and must now care about the poor people's situation and problems. She leaves her home and her husband and starts helping necessitous persons financially and personally. She ends by being considered mentally sick and is interned by her family in a psychiatric clinic. This is the contradiction between our society and the radical altruists an aspect that the movie treats only maybe a bit superficially concentrating itself more on the protagonist's psychological problem. Not a masterpiece but a good film anyway.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 7 / 10

a lofty, masochistic crucifixion is not fashionable and favourable any more

A Rossellini-Bergman Neo-realism drama takes place in the post-war Rome, Italy. Bergman plays Irene, an elegant socialite, the wife of a wealthy capitalist George Girard (Knox, in his cold, unimpressionable and unpleasant patina), together they have a young son Michele (Franchina), who feels constantly neglected by his parents, especially Irene, with whom he has spent the dreadful bombing days in England during WWII. Thus, on the occasion of one of the regular dinner gatherings hosted at home, Michele impulsively attempts a suicidal jump to grab his parents's attention, only later passes away from a blood clot.

Irene lapses into guilt and depression after the bereavement, she grows apart from George, who insists they should shake off the mourning period together. With the help of a close friend Andrea Casatti (Giannini), Irene is introduced for the first time to the hardships of the poverty-stricken living in "the other side of Rome", which has eluded her thus far. In her conscience-driven commitment, Irene throws herself in helping out those who are in urgent need: defraying the medicine expense of a deprived family to save a young boy's life; finding a job and standing in for a poor but spirited woman (Masina), who has six children to tend (three are her own kids, the rest are orphans); taking care of an ailing prostitute Ines (Pellati) in her last days. She transforms herself into a modern-day saint.

But a saint always invites persecution in an unjust world, George, holding his own grudge and gnawing jealousy (he accuses Irene of having an affair with Andrea) against her, cannot stand her constant absence in the household and refuses to take her side with respect to her newly occupied activities. When she conducts a misdemeanour to help a young criminal to evade arrest, George and his lawyer conspire to put her in a mental institution, thinking that a spell of solitude is what she needs the most to resume her social and familial duty as a wife of an important businessman. Irene doesn't defy the ungrounded internment, instead, it strengthens her unerring advocacy of a pure conception of altruism, an act superior of any religious beliefs or political slants. In the final stage of the film, she regains her peace and abides by her conviction in front the review board, who then collectively decides that she should be locked up there permanently, only those who have been aided by her affectionately call her their patron saint, her martyrdom is aptly consummated.

Bergman's performance is faultless, albeit the fact that her dialog was completely dubbed in post- production, it is a performance demands immeasurable investment from a thespian's emotional gamut (most of the time, those heart-rending moments are obtrusively intensified by Renzo Rossellini's highfalutin score), persistently expressive and emotive, her saintly appearance has taken shape through all the ordeal she experiences or witnesses, only Bergman can succeed in eliciting such powerful empathy without telegraphing an air of contrivance, Irene Girard is one of the absolute highlights in her prestigious career.

In the end of the day, what can new audience say about the central story? Is Irene's self-inflicted sacrifice is a truly commendable virtue? Or, in a more pragmatic stance, her incarceration basically blocks herself from practicing the noble cause to assist the impoverished, she might acquire the tranquility she particularly yearns for after the loss of her son, yet, if that is the case, it contradicts the whole concept of her irreproachable devotion of altruism, the vestige of selfishness betrays from her final gesture, it seems, in order to find the ultimate peace in herself, she barters it with the actual good deeds she would have done if she chooses to accept her old role as a stopgap. With her wealth and wisdom, there are many ways she can continue her philanthropic endeavour, if she really puts her mind into it. That's the divide between then and now, a lofty, masochistic crucifixion is not fashionable and favourable any more, especially there is a more sensible alternative one can choose, pragmatism prevails in today's standpoint.

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