CAS 415 | Summer 2007 | Rome |
Professors Thomas W. Benson and Stephen H. Browne

The Rhetoric of Film -

Italian Cinema - Neorealism

Near the close of World War II, while their country was still a battleground, with the German army gradually being driven North by the slowly advancing Allied armies, Italian filmmakers developed a new style of filmmaking that came to be called Neorealism. This course will examine some of the foundational works of Neorealism and trace its influence on some later Italian films.


Program notes for the films will be provided online, along with some optional readings.

We will see the films together, then meet for discussion of the films. Students will write about the films as part of their ongoing travel journals, and we will visit some of the sites depicted in the films.

links -

ANGEL | INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE | LIAS | e-mail Professor Benson | Professor Benson home page | films you might want to see before going to Rome |

optional reading -

Peter Bondanella
Italian Cinema, 3rd ed.
ISBN: 0826412475 $29.95

Marcus Italian Film

Millicent Marcus
Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism $31.12


week 1

Rome: Open City

Roma, città aperta (1945)

Director - Roberto Rossellini
Written by - Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini
Cast - Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi





The Battle of San Pietro (1945)

Director - John Huston
Producer - Frank Capra

A documentary film produced by the U. S. War Department, the Army Pictorial Service and the U.S. Army Signal Corps.


week 2

The Bicycle Thief

Ladri di biciclette (1948)

Director - Vittorio De Sica
Written by - Cesare Zavattini and others
Cast - Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola



week 3


Sciuscià (1946)

Director - Vittorio De Sica
Written by - Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini
Cast -



week 4


The White Sheik

Lo Sceicco bianco (1952)


Director - Federico Fellini
Written by - Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
Cast - Alberto Sordi, Brunella Bovo, Leopoldo Trieste, Giulietta Masina



week 5

Umberto D (1952)


Director - Vittorio De Sica
Written by - Cesare Zavattini
Cast - Carlo Battisti



week 6
the conformist

The Conformist (1970)

Director - Bernardo Bertolucci
From a novel by Alberto Moravia
Cast - Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli




week 7

Mamma Roma (1962)

Director - Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by - Pier Paolo Pasolini
Cast - Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo