Journey to Italy
|Journey to Italy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roberto Rossellini|
|Produced by||Adolfo Fossataro
|Written by||Vitaliano Brancati
|Music by||Renzo Rossellini|
|Edited by||Jolanda Benvenuti|
|Distributed by||Titanus Distribuzione|
|97 minutes (U.S.)
85 minutes (Italy)
Journey to Italy (Italian: Viaggio in Italia) is a 1954 Italian drama film directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders. The film has English dialogue; the Italian version was originally cut. It is loosely based on the novel Duo by Colette.
Alex and Katherine Joyce (Sanders and Bergman) are a couple from England who have traveled to Italy to sell a large property near Naples that they have recently inherited. Alex is a workaholic businessman, given to brusqueness and sarcasm. Katherine is more sensitive, and the journey has evoked poignant memories of a poet friend, Charles Lewington, now deceased.
Within days of their arrival, the couple's relationship starts to disintegrate amid mutual misunderstandings and a degree of jealousy on both sides. Things become so strained that they agree to divorce, but following a visit to Pompeii they get caught up in a religious procession in Naples that—as it seems, miraculously—rekindles their love for each other.
- Ingrid Bergman as Katherine Joyce
- George Sanders as Alexander 'Alex' Joyce
- Maria Mauban as Marie
- Anna Proclemer as the prostitute
- Paul Müller as Paul Dupont
- Leslie Daniels as Tony Burton (billed as Anthony La Penna)
- Natalia Ray as Natalie Burton
- Jackie Frost as Betty
The film was originally intended as an adaptation of the French writer Colette's novel Duo; Rossellini was, however, unable to get the rights to the novel, and was forced to re-write the screenplay until it differed sufficiently from its original.
Although it performed badly at the box office, French critics at the Cahiers du Cinéma, including François Truffaut, liked it and proclaimed it to be the first modern film. Martin Scorsese talks about the film and his impressions of it in his own film My Voyage to Italy. George Sanders' autobiographical Memoirs of a Professional Cad (1960) tellingly describes Rossellini's haphazard methods of direction and their effects on the actors and production team.
This film is ranked No. 41 in BFI The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time.