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Rappresaglia (1973)
  • Director:
    George P. Cosmatos
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Robert Katz,George P. Cosmatos
  • Cast:
    Richard Burton,Marcello Mastroianni,Leo McKern
  • Time:
    1h 50min
  • Year:
In the Nazi occupied city of Rome, an assault on an SS brigade draws retaliation from the military governship. "Massacre in Rome" is the true story of how this partisan attack led to the mass execution of Italian nationals under the orders of SS-Lieutenant Colonel Kappler.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton Richard Burton - Lt. Col. Herbert Kappler
Marcello Mastroianni Marcello Mastroianni - Father Pietro Antonelli
Leo McKern Leo McKern - Gen. Kurt Maelzer
John Steiner John Steiner - Col. Dollmann
Anthony Steel Anthony Steel - Maj. Domizlaf
Robert Harris Robert Harris - Father Pancrazio
Peter Vaughan Peter Vaughan - Gen. Albert Kesselring
Renzo Montagnani Renzo Montagnani - Questore Pietro Caruso
Giancarlo Prete Giancarlo Prete - Paolo
Renzo Palmer Renzo Palmer - Giorgio
Duilio Del Prete Duilio Del Prete - Partisan
Dennis Burgess Dennis Burgess
Brook Williams Brook Williams
Guidarino Guidi Guidarino Guidi - Guido Buffarini-Guidi
Douglas Hare Douglas Hare - Young German Soldier

Rappresaglia (1973)
Wild Python
Wild Python
If you pick this for striking scenes of violence,you'd do better to go elsewhere. What remains in my mind after watching it are the performances - especially Richard Burton and Peter Vaughn as soldiers resigned to taking and giving orders they'd rather not take and give - and the methodical way in which the reprisals are ordered, arranged and then carried out.

Every time I hear of some brutal crime, I wonder how it ever began, how people could commit such acts.

But this film gave me an understanding of the process whereby one act/decision leads to another, which leads to another... until there's no stopping it, even if anybody wanted to.
Legend 33
Legend 33
People watch war movies for action, but rarely to be reminded of their humanity, and this film touches more to the latter. There's not much action, but there is a lot of character in this fact-based drama. Burton plays the same historical character that Christopher Plummer impersonated in the televison drama THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK, Col. Herbert Kapler, an art-loving, but genocidal, Nazi officer, who carried out the massacre. The real Kapler also authorized the execution of the priest that Rosselini's OPEN CITY was based on. Both films are worthy companions to this one, and together all three convey what Rome was like during the days of Nazi occupation.
I like this movie because of its accuracy and the excellent acting of the main cast, and also of the supporting characters. The film is very dry though, and slow, and presumably not meant as pure entertainment. It is, in my view, a more or less accurate depiction of what happened, not a star vehicle for the brilliant actors Richard Burton (Lt. Col. Herbert Kappler) and Marcello Mastroianni (Father Pietro Antonelli). John Steiner is also superb as Col. Dollmann.

This is not a film for thrill-seekers. It is a film for those who enjoy good acting, direction and historical accuracy. The main actors were serious artists, and I am sure they were very happy to participate in this well-crafted, very structured and chilling account of the German occupation of Rome. I give it 8 out of 10 stars, and that's me being conservative.
Daddy Cosmatos made relatively few movies, each time quite in the decade's note, i.e., following the trend of the times; he benefited from a choice cast for the flick we are discussing now. Rappresaglia, played by Burton, Mastroianni, and scored by Morricone, with a copiously bad script and a dreadful assortment of rubbish lines and tirades, abhorrently stilted, so that the characters permanently exchange risible lines and strident precepts.

Burton, Mastroianni are among the ablest actors Cosmatos ever worked with; in the '80s, he went on with Stallone, whom he directed in a cult thriller, COBRA.

Burton was an experienced player of WW 2 officers, and here he delivers a standard performance of a placid, gloomy, bored, tired Nazi, suffering from sloth, devoured by his manifest sloth; while Mastroianni was deemed slick enough to look priestly. In a supporting role you can notice Mme. Sandrelli's daughter from Brass' THE KEY, here 10 yrs before that role of cheated wife.

Burton, the jaded officer, and Mastroianni, the courageous priest, have several scenes together. Some more knowledgeable say that the gloomy and bored, morose Nazi is downplayed, depicted as a nicer and more approachable guy than he ever really was, while the priest is boosted.

See the priest going into the clerical palaces of Vatican, with their ostentatious display of luxe ....

'You will be called to account before the tribunal of God.' Yet Burton was not easygoing with scripts he didn't like. On the other hand, though, during the '70s (--and of course also the '80s as long as he was alive--) his career reached an unconceivable degree of misery and deprecation, Burton, another of the humiliated great actors (sort of like Harris, O'Toole, Finlay, Stamp, Rourke--), becoming a sort of B actor; and he was, unfortunately, not the guy to rescue a movie or a script, he mainly let it sink.

An average WW 2 drama, badly written, rhetorical, tendentious, directed by a hack, yet interesting, MASSACRE IN ROME has the advantage of a first—class cast. Go see Mastroianni in a frock and Burton in his Nazi outfit.

I presume that so many asked so much from Pope Pius the 12th because so many were in fact expecting so much from the Christ' vicar; this is the only way of making sense of so many exigencies.
Elastic Skunk
Elastic Skunk
After sticking it out to the grim & dreadful closing 15 minutes of this co-Italian production, I felt the need for a stiff brandy. Not knowing anything of the film nor of the incident that led to the final atrocity I was kept riveted after the first half hour since the often chequered and frustrated direction of the account often leaves the conclusion in doubt and one hoping the worst will be thwarted at the last moment.When 32 of a company of marching German soldiers are wiped out by a small bunch of Italian underground in a wet deserted street which results in a furious local Commandant(McKern) demanding immediate and exaggerated retaliation but is reminded by his subordinate(R Burton) that with the Americans beating at the city gates, he lacked the proper authority,it being more politically prudent to "go through channels". Burton has a tenuous understanding with a local priest Fr Antonelli(Mastroianni)who represents the large Christian population & the Vatican who gets personally involved in a struggle to cool what becomes a strategic battle between the various ranking officials who refuse permission or don't wish to know, his pleading & reasoning with Burton as one born to obey orders and caught in the middle of a thankless and unwanted military situation is ordered to compile a reduced list of hostages and then arrange the execution squad. It is a matter of history that Pope Pius,ruler of the Vatican & representative of everything Catholicism stood for, if not a collaborator with the Nazis was at least partisan, so Fr Antonelli finding the hostage situation finally becoming a growing reality desperately seeks his intervention to prevent the accelerating executions only to be met with a polite & devious refusal. There are a few moments of amusement in watching the growing frustrating of McKern repeatedly defeated by ranking responses to his demands but the suspense is held until the point where Burton rigid to his code, rebukes the inevitable damnation of his soul in openly defying Fr Antonelli & as a man out on his own stonefacedly proceeds with his "final solution" without official knowledge of the civil authority. How the final contrived business is planned with the utmost secrecy and perpetrated even to the extent of destroying all evidence of the atrocity and the grim,details of every last moment takes a pretty strong stomach.....the notorious sequence from Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" springs to mind. One final nasty shock remains for Burton who has promised the priest he will fire the first shot. The whole "business", like Lidice is historical truth... Hitler clearly saw the assassination of one high ranking official significant enough to wipe out an entire village & its population- the significance here was a mere 30 odd footsloggers of minor importance. One point did bother me about why these officials really cared about protocol and did not simply go out & seize the first unwitting hostages they found and not stand on ceremony about details. But this is a true story we are told.

A few old faces like Anthony Steel & Peter Vaughan pop up briefly whilst the acting is generally quite acceptable with Burton almost as stone faced and cold as in "Villain" . What was his reason for taking so unsympathetic a part? Nevertheless, as one reviewer has remarked it has the look of a cheap production and a good deal is shot in semi-darkness. Definitely not for children under 14!

The crumbs of comfort come with the closing credits when we are audibly reminded of the War Trials' sentences of death or imprisonment for these men, Only Kesselring got off lightly as the top authority to issue the proper orders. Fr Antonelli finally demonstrated the bravery of Sidney Carton in his horror of this massacre in Rome.
This movie has a chilling subject matter, but there are a few too many unnecessary distractions along the way, which prevent it from getting down to the heart of the story as quickly as it should. It's still worth seeing, however, especially for fans of Richard Burton, who gives a compelling performance as a man caught in a mechanism that far surpasses him and forces him to do unthinkable deeds. And all this despite the obvious fact that Burton is miscast as a German officer with a distinctly British accent. (**1/2)
I checked the 'contains spoiler'-box, for I am not commenting on this movie in order to promote it, but as a review for people that have seen it.

I rated it with 10 points, for there's not a single scene, clue or camera handling that could want me to rate it lower. People reviewing it and commenting on it's 'speed' or 'dryness' have obviously not taken into consideration that this movie is (by now) 33 years old - an era wherein the fast-flashing-quickly-changing scenes run for victory. Phew! Everything coincided in this film. The matter was displayed in a pure and open way and it gives the viewer an up-close look at the then situation (from both sides). It was heart-breaking realistic. No heroism. Not Hollywood. A plain great movie about the occupation of Rome.

Another thing that struck me, was the appearance of the personage of Kappler. Although played by two completely different people, Kappler could be easily recognized. Played by Christopher Plummer in The Scarlet and the Black, the figure of Kappler leaves a vivid memory in the mind, after watching both movies. Where The Scarlet and the Black focused on position of the Vatican (and it's priests), this movie turns that around. Historically accurate, incomprehensible when it comes to army hierarchies, leaving the viewer behind with his/her thoughts, thoughts about an episode of the second world war - when it's not being read.

Burton performs sublime.
First, this is an excellent film. It is a World War II occupation drama about a reprisal against a reprisal.

The German occupation force, of course, are the ogres here.

In the seventies, those in charge of productions, those who were the true censors on the drawing board, were the "preachiest" batch of movie makers ever. They insisted that even ogres were three dimensional characters.

If Charles Manson lived a hundred years earlier, these movie makers would have made him look "introspective".

Which is just one of the reasons why the seventies was the worst decade in American movie making.

However, this film didn't go down that path. It didn't "whitewash" the vicious nature of the beast. True, Burton gave his usual thespian performance, but he didn't placate the "seventies" movement by downplaying the rotten nature of the man he portrayed.

This is a very touching movie, down to the wire. It has many assets. It is, as I said, an excellent movie.

It is flawed in story telling, though. It's difficult to watch without yawning. True, Burton is a great actor, but he excels in boredom. He could make "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" a snoozefest. He would have been the greatest hypnotist of all time, if he wanted to.

But that's Burton. And I don't mean to put him down. It's his style. He portrays his characters perfectly, perhaps too perfectly, with all their boring attributes.

The pace of the film is off. When it should be fast, it lulls into Shakespearean style dialog. When it should slow down to let us know what is happening, it blurts out with confusing cutaways that we cannot follow without a program.

Still, in the overall analysis, the magnitude of the story, including its factual nature, far outweighs the nitpicks against it.

This isn't an "exciting" movie, and the director makes no attempt to make it exciting, so you do have to trudge through it, but it is very intelligent. View it when you want a good think piece.
A fine ensemble cast headlines this worthy but dull WW2 drama that tells of human conflict in Nazi-occupied Rome in 1944. When a group of local partisans successfully manage to ambush a Nazi platoon and kill a number of soldiers, the Nazi powers decide to retaliate by executing ten Italians for every soldier killed. It sounds like a powerful, intriguing story and it is, but I can't help wonder whether it would have worked better as a documentary.

There's tension in the film, but it's limited to brief interludes as we follow the resistance fighters planning to blow up the Nazi march. Unfortunately, in between these affecting moments are lengthy dialogue sequences between the Nazi officials, sequences which add little to the production. There's plenty of attempts to humanise the historical characters, but I didn't care for any of the scenes involving Marcello Mastroianni's priest; they just felt long-winded and self-consciously arty. Similarly, the climax showing the aftermath of the attack – and the Nazis' ultimate revenge – is hard-hitting indeed, but takes so long to come about that I didn't care much after all.

The casting is fine; the producers assembled numerous heavyweights to play the Nazi officers, including Richard Burton, Peter Vaughan and Leo McKern, and as an Italian production this features many notable faces from Italian cinema, such as John Steiner and Renzo Palmer. There's little to fault in the direction of George Pan Cosmatos either; the director is best known for his later work in action cinema (including RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and COBRA) but he cut his teeth on work like this. It's just a shame the film couldn't have been a little pacier.
One of the first movies of George Pan Cosmatos, "Massacre In Rome" is a chilling story of German reprisal for the death of 32 German soldiers in a IED explosion in Rome in 1944. It is decided that for each dead German, 10 Italians must be executed.

Cosmatos was an excellent craftsman, and it shows here. The movie is cold and distanced: both protagonists, disillusioned German officer (Burton) and Italian priest (Mastroianni) are faced with the inescapable fate: Burton must follow his orders and carry on with the execution, while Mastroianni's attempt to make the Pope stop the Germans fails, because the Pope is not willing to get involved.

"Massacre In Rome" has one excellent scene: the briefing where Burton explains to his officers how the executions will be carried out. A really chilling sequence, thanks to Burton's maestry. The somewhat cheesy action sequences somewhat lower the vote. It would easily be a 8.
A story depicting the background and events leading up to one of the most devastating wartime atrocities in modern history, the Adreatine Massacre in Rome in 1944. Thirty-three members of the German 11th Company, 3rd Battalion, SS Police Regiment 'Bozen', was attacked and gunned down by the Roman underground. Hitler's reprisal was to order the death of ten Roman civilians for each of the thirty-three SS soldiers killed. The Pope ordered that one Roman Priest collaborate with the SS to carry it out. George P. Cosmatos directs the drama with a palpable emphasis on plot. Darkly lit to create a looming atmosphere and uncompromising scenes works very well. The dialogue moralises about non-involvement which becomes heavy at times and there are also many inaccuracies. The character of the Head of the Security Police, Herbert Kappler was a ruthless war criminal and not war weary and troubled as portrayed here by Richard Burton. The German victims in the story were regular Austrian soldiers. Of lesser importance, though, is Father Pietro Antonelli being a composite character. All in all, its a bit cumbersome as it progresses, but as a story it is interesting for the dilemma of reprisal and absorbing for the machinations of morality. Good drama arises from face-to-face confrontations.
the film of a meet. between Richard Burton and Marcello Mastroianni.dramatic, impressive. but almost a documentary. first for the inability to give a large picture of the story. the Resistance group seems be a pretext or insignificant detail. the good intentions are more important than the story itself. sure, dramatic, admirable for the scenes of the executions and for the end, it has the basic sin to not convince. the story is touching but the characters are forms of sketches. the fight of Father Antonelli is reduced at noble speeches and an individual sacrifice. Richard Burton is prisoner of his role and each try to enlarge it seems be in vain. the generous purpose is more important than a coherent story made by different perspectives. and the last impression could be - it is a good film. the main argument - the meet between Maroianni and Burton.
very badly made film, the action/violence scenes are ridiculous.

1 point for the presence of Burton and Mastroianni + 1 point for the real tragic event of the massacre of the innocent italians: 2/10.
This was a big disappointment for me. I think this is the worst Mastroianni-movie ever made. Cosmatos tries too hard to make this movie a masterpiece and that makes this movie a typical "art"-movie. I give 4/10 for this movie.
This talky recreation of a massacre of Italian citizens by the Nazis in retribution for the assassination of a unit of German soldiers marching through the city's narrow streets chooses to tell the story mostly from the viewpoint of a German officer who is given the task of selecting the 300-odd unlucky men who must be killed. The officer is played by Richard Burton, a rather unlikely Nazi it has to be said, but he acquits himself fairly well. Marcello Mastroianni plays a priest who becomes involved with Burton's character, but there's not much of a story in that part of the plot, and the Italian actor drifts in and out of the film with very little purpose for much of it.

Although there is much talk and little action, the film isn't as dull as I feared it might become. Burton's a fairly commanding presence, even though you get the impression he's simply going through the motions for the paycheck. Leo McKern is enjoyable as Burton's officious and slightly panicky superior officer. None of the Nazis are painted as outright bad guys as such – Burton's officer goes to lengths to add the names of criminals already sentenced to death and serving long-term sentences, and even snatches ten names from the list of 50 that the Italian chief of police must provide (much to his annoyance), before finally selecting Jews.
The problem with this movie is its title. 'Massacre in Rome' leaves you in no doubt about the final outcome. As a result, the complicated politics and psychology engaging the Vatican and differing attitudes within the German high-command which take up the body of the movie are all played out against what is already made clear to be a done deal. The hour or more of 'will they, won't they' is therefore deprived of much of its potential drama and tension. You already know the outcome.

Richard Burton is such a commanding screen presence that he deserves the best directors. Sometimes this doesn't happen, and we are left with mediocrities like 'Bitter Victory'. Here, he's under the dubious hand of Mr Comatose, but still gives a compelling turn for the most part.

He's a loyal German officer and will obey his orders. But he's also shrewd enough to realise that the massacre, in reprisal against a partisan street bombing, is going to be a serious mistake. Leo McKern plays his less even-tempered superior. I'm a fan of McKern, but find his performance here just a wee bit less than his usual gold standard. Still watchable though.

There's a lot of needless detail and digression that seems to be included as packing-out the feature length. That and the verbosity runs the risk of making the movie drag. However, the lead performances keep the interest there. The script is decent but not clever, locations are imaginative, camera-work up to the task.

It's not a movie I would particularly recommend, but if you haven't seen it before, and haven't heard about the massacre, it's worth a look.
This is a retelling of the events leading up to the Ardeatine Massacre, which took place just outside of Rome during World War Two, and the attempts to prevent it happening by various people involved. The massacre was a direct response by the SS in retaliation for partisan bomb that was detonated in the middle of Rome while an SS company was marching through the city, and the order to kill ten men for every German soldier killed came direct from Adolf Hitler himself. There's a lot of controversy regarding the Vatican's knowledge about the event too, and the film does a good job of drawing attention to this without being completely accusatory.

Richard Burton plays Col. Keppler, a weary SS officer who loves Rome. Along with arrogant Prussian adjutant John Steiner, he knows that the Third Reich is ending and his main concern is that his name is announced by the BBC on their war crimes list that is broadcast every night. Burton seems genuinely concerned for the people of Rome, while Steiner just wants to save his arse. Marcello Mastroianni is the local priest involved in art restoration who strikes up an uneasy friendship with Burton, although conversation usually devolves into the two throwing veiled insults at each other. The Italian fascists want to celebrate the anniversary of fascism openly but Burton suggests that they do it behind doors, as Rome has become a bit of a ticking bomb politically. His commanding officer, old school General Leo McKern, plays down the possibility of an attack but then blames Burton when the entire company are blown away by partisans Giancarlo Prete and Renzo Palmer (both of whom speak perfect English, despite always being dubbed in any other film I've seen them in).

The film then becomes a kind of reverse Schindler's List as Burton must find ten men for every soldier killed - 320 in total. Burton at first adds all the political and condemned prisoners on the list, then all the jews, then anyone else he can find while both Steiner and Mastroianni separately contact the Vatican in order the step in and have the Pope try and prevent the massacre. Guess what happens there? Despite the avalanche of later Nazisplotation films Italy would dump on the world, this one is played one hundred percent straight with no over the top violence and nudity, just people acting their socks off. The most tense part of the film is when the partisans are waiting for the SS company to show up, as Giancarlo Prete constantly chases off the locals while trying to hide a bomb in his dust cart. Burton plays the burned-out SS soldier in a sympathetic way, but it's still hard to feel sorry for a guy who is basically preparing a list of people to be murdered. Steiner makes a mark as an officer who just oozes Prussian arrogance, and it's nice to see him in something a bit more serious than usual.

Of course, the Italians would take a huge dump on the memories of everyone in the war, and their own nefarious involvement in it, by making such films as Achtung! The Desert Tigers, Women's Camp 119, The Beast In Heat, Nazi Love Camp 27, SS Experiment Love Camp, Deported Women of the Special SS Section, The Red Nights of the Gestapo, The Gestapo's Last Orgy (aka Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler), SS Camp 5: Women's Hell, and Hitler's Last Train. You were on their side, you tw*ts!
"Massacre in Rome" is based on a 1967 book, "Death in Rome," by Robert Katz who also worked on the screenplay. The book, in turn, is about true events. On March 24, 1944, the Germans killed 335 men (a few were boys under 19) in the Ardeatine Caves located outside of Rome to the southeast. The execution was a reprisal for a partisan group ambush of a German SS unit the day before. Initially, 28 soldiers died; but the number of dead would increase. The Germans determined that 10 Italians should die for each German soldier killed. Hitler approved of the plan and ordered the execution within 24 hours. By then, 33 German soldiers had died, so 330 Italians were to be killed. The number of German soldiers who died eventually reached 42.

The SS commander in Rome, Herbert Kappler, was in charge of the execution. The 74 SS officers and men of his unit would do the killing – each one having to do four or five. They would use Luger pistols and shoot the victims in the back of their heads. They chose the Ardeatine Caves so that they could set off charges inside to collapse the caves and hide the corpses. Kappler ordered cases of cognac to be sent to the site for his men to drink. This was to steel them to the task at hand by numbing their consciences and sensitivity to the cold-blooded killing they were to do.

The partisan group was expecting that news of their ambush would spread. Then it would rouse the public for more resistance. The American Army was not far from Rome. But the Germans didn't publicize the partisan ambush. Nor did they make public their reprisal. There were no news reports on radio or in the newspapers. So, the only people who knew first hand that the ambush had taken place, were the partisans who carried it out, the Germans and the few people who lived on the Via Rasella where it took place. And even fewer would know about the reprisal at the time.

The Germans were carrying out the reprisal, to their way of thinking, under the terms of the Hague Convention of 1907. It prescribed rules and conduct concerning the military and civilians during war. But, in reality, with no one to know about either event – in the Italian public and German ranks, this was little more than revenge to assuage the pride of some in the offended Nazi hierarchy. Yet it cost the lives of 335 men.

The movie shows all of this. But there are some things it doesn't show. For instance, three Italian bystanders were killed in the partisan ambush. Three dozen or more of those the Germans killed in the reprisal were Italian army officers, not civilians. They probably were POWs since Italy had surrendered and sided with the Allies. And, not all were Italians – some were Jews from other countries. Also, most of the German soldiers killed were actually northern Italians with ethnic German or Austrian backgrounds. They had been Italian soldiers who chose to join the special Bozen unit in Rome.

As the movie shows, the Nazi leaders assumed their victims would be criminals already sentenced to death. But, when there were so few, all convicted prisoners were added, and civilians from the ambush street were rounded up. Then 57 Jews who were in custody were added. By noon of that day, Kappler had a list of 271 victims, and the Italian police chief, Pietro Caruso, was to provide a list of 50 more Italians. When German soldiers emptied the Regina Coeli prison, they had 335 men.

The end credits of the movie include "The list of men known to have died in the Ardeatine Caves." It shows 332 names with ages and occupations of most. The movie shows Father Pietro Antonelli (played by Marcello Mastroianni) as one of those killed – at the very end. The list doesn't include him, so he likely was a fictitious character in the film. As the list runs on, a narrator says that the Allies liberated Rome just 10 weeks later. He relates the outcome of the chief Axis leaders.

The Italian chief of police, Caruso, was tried by an Italian court, sentenced to death and executed. None of the others were executed, although Luftwaffe Lt. Gen. Kurt Maelzer and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring were sentenced to death. Maelzer died in prison in 1952 and that same year, Kesselring was released. There's some interesting background to this, but not sufficient room here to go into it. Kappler was tried in 1948 and given a life sentence. The film has him still in the Gaeta Military Prison. But, he later escaped a military hospital where he was being treated for cancer. His second wife, Anneliese and her son helped Kappler escape on Aug. 15, 1977. He made it to Soltau, Germany where he died six months later.

While the events and main characters here were real, much of the dialog and some of the details are fiction. The authors weren't there to observe and listen to people and events. Most of the cast are very good. But, I think the role of Gen. Maelzer is way overdone by Leo McKern. Especially his poor emotional display over "my boys" (the killed German soldiers who were really northern Italians). And, Richard Burton's portrayal of Kappler seems overly philosophical. For a more thorough and different look at the person of Herbert Kappler, watch the movie, "The Scarlet and the Black." Christopher Plummer plays an excellent Kappler over a period of the war that covers almost two years. His nemesis was a real priest, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty in the Vatican, played superbly by Gregory Peck.
Massacre in Rome is a good war movie from the 1970's. It is weird because watching it seems more like we are watching an older movie in the style/appearance on the 1960's but maybe that is just because we happened to be watching a second generation copy on television or just a poorer quality version of the film. At any rate it's a good war story.

Richard Burton is great as always, starring in this movie, his acting is top notch. The entire cast is very good in their roles ranging from good to excellent.

The direction and camera work are great, for the time the makeup and costumes are also pretty much top notch. Not much action but I'm fine with that.

Good movie!
(55%) For those looking for a cheap, sleazy, Italian 70's exploitation movie then look elsewhere, because this, despite it being both Italian and made in the 1970's with the word massacre in its title, really isn't anything that could be even considered among that genre in any shape or form. Instead it's a very talky, very drawn out drama documenting a terrible Nazi atrocity towards random civilians of Rome at the end of the second world war. I myself knew very little of the terrible things that happened to the people of Rome before seeing this film, so it did enlighten me, which is something you don't often get with many films based on fact or otherwise. And as the film does go into a lot of detail regarding the events leading up to the massacre meaning you do feel that by the end most stones are left turned, and there's not really anything left to say. The film is a bit too slow burn as at times the plot feels like it's really not getting anywhere, but once it does heat up it shows how such an awful real life event could ever be orchestrated using nothing more than cold hearted controlled brutality.