It Was Night in Rome

Three prisoners of war—an Englishman, an American, and a Russian—escape from a camp in the Po Valley and make their way to Rome, where they are sheltered by a young woman who works in the black market. Roberto Rossellini's 1960 film is a return to the territory of his first neorealist films, Open City and Paisan, but the point of view has shifted toward the analytical, the reflective, even the allegorical. It was on this feature that Rossellini began to use the remote-controlled zoom lens he invented, the “Pancinor,” as a substitute for editing within a sequence: instead of cutting among close-ups, Rossellini moves in and out on his actors' faces without destroying the spatial and temporal continuity of the scene. With Leo Genn, Sergei Bondarchuk, Peter Baldwin, and Giovanna Ralli.

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