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Synopsis: Winner of the Golden Lion at the 1959 Venice Film Festival directed by one the best directors of all time, Roberto Rossellini, and featuring world cinema icon Vittoria de Sica (The Bicycle Thief) Generale della Rovere, is a film based on the true story of a con artist who during the height of WWII exploits his fellow Italians by telling them that he will find their missing loved ones in exchange for money or gifts. When he attempts to save a man already executed he is turned over by the man’s wife and is forced to become a spy for the German commander by going into the Nazi prison under the false identity of Generale della Rovere in order to bring the Italian resistance fighters among the prisoners, out into the open. As the fake general slowly makes friends with these men, he becomes a leader of sorts, which causes him to realign his moral code and to come to terms with his past life.
Restoration: The restoration of "General Della Rovere" was curated by MINERVA/RAROVIDEO and the National Cinematheque in collaboration with the National Museum of Cinema and the Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts of the Venice Biennale, for the one hundred year anniversary of Roberto Rossellini's births. The film was remastered and restored in High Definition by the LVR laboratories in Rome under the technical supervision of Aldo Strappini (RARO VIDEO) and Roberto Taruffi (National Film Archive), with the advice of Adriano Apra and with the contribution of Sergio Bruno.
Original director's cut version: This exclusive Director's Cut version of "General Della Rovere" was presented in 2001 by the National Film School and the National Film Archive on the basis of a positive safety print stored by the Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts at the Venice Biennale. This is the version of the film that was screened at the 20th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 1959. This version is longer than the Theatrical version by a total of six minutes. Director's Cut version length: 3772 meters Theatrical version length: 3606 meters