The Rose Tattoo (1955)

116-117 mins | Drama | December 1955

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HISTORY

This film marked Anna Magnani's first Hollywood picture and her first English-speaking role. According to the NYT reviewer, Tennessee Williams wrote his play with Magnani in mind. When the play opened in New York City, however, she was not available to take the part. On 10 Aug 1952, NYT reported that Vittorio De Sica might direct the film version of the play, and an 11 Apr 1954 NYT article reported that Pier Angeli would play the part of "Rosa." (Marisa Pavan, who ultimately played "Rosa," was Angeli's twin sister.) According to a Jul 1954 NYT item, Jan Merlin tested for the role of "Jack."
       Information in the MPAA/PCA collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that PCA officials initially rejected Williams' play, stating that the story was absorbed with "lust and gross sex" and confused religion with superstition. According to the Jul 1954 NYT article, producer Hal Wallis suggested that Williams temper the play's sexual aspects and make a clear distinction between Roman Catholic beliefs and "Serafina's" superstitions. The completed script was then accepted by the PCA.
       HR news items add Flo Vinson, June Smaney, Loulette Sablon and Trini Varela to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Some scenes were shot on location in Key West, FL, according to contemporary sources. Magnani won an Academy Award for Best Actress; James Wong Howe won the Oscar for Best Black and White Cinematography; Hal Pereira and Tambi Larsen won for Black and White Art Direction; and Sam Comer and Arthur Krams won for Best Black ... More Less

This film marked Anna Magnani's first Hollywood picture and her first English-speaking role. According to the NYT reviewer, Tennessee Williams wrote his play with Magnani in mind. When the play opened in New York City, however, she was not available to take the part. On 10 Aug 1952, NYT reported that Vittorio De Sica might direct the film version of the play, and an 11 Apr 1954 NYT article reported that Pier Angeli would play the part of "Rosa." (Marisa Pavan, who ultimately played "Rosa," was Angeli's twin sister.) According to a Jul 1954 NYT item, Jan Merlin tested for the role of "Jack."
       Information in the MPAA/PCA collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that PCA officials initially rejected Williams' play, stating that the story was absorbed with "lust and gross sex" and confused religion with superstition. According to the Jul 1954 NYT article, producer Hal Wallis suggested that Williams temper the play's sexual aspects and make a clear distinction between Roman Catholic beliefs and "Serafina's" superstitions. The completed script was then accepted by the PCA.
       HR news items add Flo Vinson, June Smaney, Loulette Sablon and Trini Varela to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Some scenes were shot on location in Key West, FL, according to contemporary sources. Magnani won an Academy Award for Best Actress; James Wong Howe won the Oscar for Best Black and White Cinematography; Hal Pereira and Tambi Larsen won for Black and White Art Direction; and Sam Comer and Arthur Krams won for Best Black and White Set Decoration. The film received a nomination for Best Picture and Pavan was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. In addition, the film was nominated in the following categories: Best Costume Design, Editing and Music. Magnani won a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a drama, and Pavan won a Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress award. Director Daniel Mann also directed the Broadway play, and Dorrit Kelton, Rossana San Marco and Augusta Merighi appeared in both the film and the stage play. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Nov 1955.
---
Daily Variety
1 Nov 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Nov 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1954
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1954
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1954
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 1954
p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 1956
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 1956
p. 1, 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Nov 55
p. 657.
New York Times
10 Aug 1952.
---
New York Times
11 Apr 1954.
---
New York Times
4 Jul 1954.
---
New York Times
13 Dec 55
p. 55.
Variety
2 Nov 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ed supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Interpreter for Anna Magnani
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
cBased on the play The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams, as produced by Cheryl Crawford (New York, 3 Feb 1951).
MUSIC
"The Sheik of Araby" by Ted Snyder.
SONGS
"Come le rose," music and lyrics by Adolfo Genise and Gaetano Lama.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1955
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 December 1955
Production Date:
3 November--31 December 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp., Hal B. Wallis & Joseph H. Hazen
Copyright Date:
14 December 1955
Copyright Number:
LP5859
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
116-117
Length(in feet):
10,489
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17395
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Serafina Delle Rose, a seamstress living in an Italian-American community on the Gulf of Mexico, idolizes her husband Rosario, unaware that the truck driver has been having a long-term affair with Estelle Hohengarten, a blonde blackjack dealer. Serafina, who is pregnant with her second child, is also ignorant of Rosario's smuggling activities and is completely possessed by grief when he is killed in a highway explosion while attempting to escape from the police in his truck. After suffering a miscarriage, Serafina devotes herself to mourning, even cremating Rosario's body against the dictates of the Church, so that she may keep his ashes in the house. Three years later, Serafina's pretty eighteen-year-old daughter Rosa meets a sailor named Jack Hunter at her graduation dance and falls deeply in love. Rosa introduces Jack to her mother, but Serafina, having heard that morning about Rosario's affair with Estelle, is so preoccupied with her anger and suspicion that she hardly notices them at first. While gazing at the happy young couple, Serafina's bitterness overcomes her, and she accuses the young man of wanting to violate her daughter's innocence. After Jack vows by the Blessed Virgin that he will respect Rosa, Serafina claims that she is satisfied and lets the young people go out together. Later that day, Serafina meets Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a simple-minded Sicilian-born truck driver, whose strong body reminds her of her husband and reawakens her passion. Eager to impress Serafina, Alvaro has a rose tattooed on his chest, just as Rosario had done. Alvaro's romantic overtures anger Serafina, but when she learns that he is acquainted with Estelle, she forces him to take her to the woman. ... +


Serafina Delle Rose, a seamstress living in an Italian-American community on the Gulf of Mexico, idolizes her husband Rosario, unaware that the truck driver has been having a long-term affair with Estelle Hohengarten, a blonde blackjack dealer. Serafina, who is pregnant with her second child, is also ignorant of Rosario's smuggling activities and is completely possessed by grief when he is killed in a highway explosion while attempting to escape from the police in his truck. After suffering a miscarriage, Serafina devotes herself to mourning, even cremating Rosario's body against the dictates of the Church, so that she may keep his ashes in the house. Three years later, Serafina's pretty eighteen-year-old daughter Rosa meets a sailor named Jack Hunter at her graduation dance and falls deeply in love. Rosa introduces Jack to her mother, but Serafina, having heard that morning about Rosario's affair with Estelle, is so preoccupied with her anger and suspicion that she hardly notices them at first. While gazing at the happy young couple, Serafina's bitterness overcomes her, and she accuses the young man of wanting to violate her daughter's innocence. After Jack vows by the Blessed Virgin that he will respect Rosa, Serafina claims that she is satisfied and lets the young people go out together. Later that day, Serafina meets Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a simple-minded Sicilian-born truck driver, whose strong body reminds her of her husband and reawakens her passion. Eager to impress Serafina, Alvaro has a rose tattooed on his chest, just as Rosario had done. Alvaro's romantic overtures anger Serafina, but when she learns that he is acquainted with Estelle, she forces him to take her to the woman. When confronted by Serafina, Estelle defiantly admits that she loved Rosario and publicly displays the tattoo imprinted on her own chest. Horrified, Serafina rushes home and smashes the urn containing her husband's ashes. Later, after saying goodbye to Alvaro loud enough for the neighbors to hear, Serafina asks him to return secretly and spend the night. In the meantime, Alvaro gets drunk and passes out shortly after he arrives at the house. In the morning, a groggy Alvaro sees Rosa asleep on the couch and stares longingly at her face. Rosa awakes and runs screaming into Serafina's room. Thinking that Alvaro attacked Rosa, Serafina drives him out. Rosa, weary of her mother's vigilance and hypocrisy, angrily informs Serafina that she plans to elope with Jack, but when he arrives, Serafina surprises the couple by giving them her blessing. Alvaro then clumsily declares his love for Serafina, whereupon, at the urging of the neighboring women, she happily invites him into the house. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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