Viene in questi giorni proiettato in uno dei più grandi cinematografi di prima visione di New York il film di Carmine Gallone Avanti a Lui tremava tutta Roma. È questa la prima volta che un film italiano viene proiettato in un cinematografo di Broadway, facente parte dei grandi circuiti di sale. Il successo del film è stato vivissimo. La critica ne ha lodato caldamente la realizzazione attribuendogli 3 stelle e mezzo, punteggio massimo per un film estero. Nelle sole due prime sere di incasso il film ha raggiunto la somma di 6.000 dollari.
New York, March 1947
Before Him All Rome Trembled. An abundance of good points rated this Italian pic in the higher class, definitely. Realism is predominant, in the setting as well as the acting. One can follow the story even without English titles. The play within the play presents an added attraction, beautiful music from the opera, Tosca.
The story concerns Ada and Franco, two opera singers, who on the surface are collaborationists aiding the Nazis occupying Roma. Actually, however, they are active underground workers whose mission is to collect money from the Nazis, under various guises, to foster underground activity.
Ada is magnificently portrayed by Anna Magnani, best known for her stirring role in Open City, and Gino Sinimberghi is perfect as Franco. Two other outstanding parts are played by Edda Albertini, as Lena Franco’s maid, and Brunno Gebel, as the Polish-Jew.
Produced in Italy by Excelsa Film and currently released in this country by Superfilm as one of their 20-odd pictures this year, Before Him All Rome Trembled is a combination of two stories of the occupation of the Eternal City in two different eras.
With Anna Magnani, star of Open City, in the leading role, the picture is primarily concerned with the underground movement against the Germans in Rome before it was liberated by the Allies. At the same time about half the picture is devoted to the presentation of Sardou’s opera Tosca, which is also concerned with the city’s occupation, but during the Napoleonic era.
Taking the two identical themes director Carmine Gallone has woven a 1944 plot around a group of opera singers who are part of the Italian resistance movement while continuing their duties of delivering performances of Tosca. Unlike Tosca and Mario of the opera, they live through their underground experience to present the stage musical before the Allied troops.
Although the current theme is interesting, the highlight of the picture for opera lovers will be the presentation of Tosca, for which the whole opera company was employed. It is filmed in its original setting with the incomparable music of Puccini directed by Maestro Luigi Ricci.