The Pigeon That Took Rome

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The Pigeon That Took Rome
Poster of The Pigeon That Took Rome.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Melville Shavelson
Produced by Melville Shavelson
Written by Donald Downes (novel)
Melville Shavelson (screenplay)
Starring Charlton Heston
Elsa Martinelli
Music by Alessandro Cicognini
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Edited by Frank Bracht
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • June 20, 1962 (1962-06-20)
Running time
103 mins.
Country United States
Language English

The Pigeon That Took Rome is a 1962 film directed and written by Melville Shavelson and starring Charlton Heston. The film was based on the 1961 novel The Easter Dinner by Donald Downes.


In 1944, during the last stages of the war in Europe, American officers Paul MacDougall (Heston) and Joseph Contini (Guardino) are sent to Italy to act as spies for the Allies, even though they have no experience in espionage. Working with Partisan resistance soldier Ciccio Massimo (Baccaloni), MacDougall and Contini send regular reports to their superiors by carrier pigeon.

Contini also finds himself falling in love with Massimo's pregnant daughter Rosalba (Pallotta), while her sister Antonella (Martinelli) has her eye on MacDougall. Contini proposes to Rosalba, and Ciccio prepares a feast to celebrate his daughter's upcoming wedding. However, Ciccio prepares squab for the occasion, killing all but one of the carrier pigeons. Ciccio scrambles to replace them, but the new pigeons he finds are German, and they deliver MacDougall and Contini's messages directly into enemy hands.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Writers Guild of America

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NY Times: The Pigeon That Took Rome". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 

External links[edit]