(aka 'Rocco and His Brothers' or 'Rocco e i suoi fratelli" and "Rocco et ses frères")

directed by Luchino Visconti
Italy 1960

Arriving at the end of the neorealism movement in Italian cinema, Rocco and His Brothers (1960) was Luchino Visconti's most ambitious production to date and a personal favorite among his many films. Recounting the tale of a widow, Rosaria Parondi (Katina Paxinou), and her five sons - Rocco (Alain Delon), Simone (Renato Salvatori), Ciro (Max Cartier), Luca (Rocco Vidolazzi) and Vincenzo (Spiros Focas), Visconti paints a sprawling canvas that tells several stories. At the center is the Parondi family, poor Italians from the south who have moved north to Milan in search of a better life. As they adapt to new jobs and relationships, these simple country people are inevitably corrupted by the city.

The emotional range of Rocco and His Brothers is excessive and theatrical like a Verdi opera and often plays like a modern-day Greek tragedy, particularly in its depiction of the relationship between the good son, the saint-like Rocco, and his brutal sibling, Simone, a promising boxer whose downward spiral ends in total degradation (his arrest for the brutal stabbing death of his prostitute lover, Nadia (Annie Girardot).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 

The last gasp of the neo-realist spirit in Visconti's work, Rocco chronicles at length the misfortunes that befall an Italian peasant family when they move to The Big City. There's a grey conviction about much of the scene-setting and the location shooting, but the film gathers interest as it escalates into melodrama; the tragic climax is pure opera. Delon is unconvincing as the saintly Rocco, but Renato Salvatori makes the thuggish elder brother who falls in with a gay boxing promoter his best part ever.

Excerpt from Time Out Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 6th, 1960 - Italy

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present
by Peter E. Bondanella
Fellini on Fellini
by Federico Fellini, Isabel Quigley
Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism
by Millicent Marcus
Vittorio De Sica: Contemporary Perspectives (Toronto Italian Studies)
by Howard Curle, Stephen Snyder
Italian Film (National Film Traditions)
by Marcia Landy, David Desser
Italian Cinema
by Maggie Gunsberg
I, Fellini
by Charlotte Chandler, Billy Wilder

DVD Comparison:

Eureka 'Masters of Cinema' (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL vs.

Image - Region 0 - NTSC vs. C'est La Vie - Region 2 - PAL

Thanks Pepsi for the Medusa caps and to Gregory for the Region C'est La Vie grabs!

(Medusa - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs  Image - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. C'est la vie - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Eureka 'Masters of Cinema'

Spine #48
Region 0 - PAL

Medusa

Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

  

 

  

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

C'est la Vie
Region 2 - PAL
Distribution Eureka 'Masters of Cinema'
Region 0 - PAL

Medusa

Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

C'est la Vie
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:49:55 (4% PAL speedup) 2:49:40 (4% PAL speedup) 2:48:15 2:48:00 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.80:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.94
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:1.80  Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.59:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.63 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.62:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.2
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate: Masters of Cinema

Bitrate: Medusa

Bitrate:

Image

 

Bitrate:

Ces't la Vie

Audio Italian (1.0 Dolby Digital), DUB: French Italian (1.0 Dolby Digital) Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles English and none English, Spanish, Italian, None English and none English (non-removable)
Features Release Information:
Studio: M
asters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.
80

Edition Details:
• Cinecronaca newsreel from 1960 - 6:57
• Caleidoscopio newsreel from 1960 - 1:47
• Original Italian trailer from 1960 - 3:15
• Les Coulisses Du Tournage from 2003 - 26:40
• Guiseppe Rotunno interview from 1999 - 20:35
• Annie Girardot interview from 2002 - 30:12
• Claudia Cardinale interview from from 1999 - 23:17
• Luchina Visconti documentary from 1999 - 1:00:32
• The extra material is optionally subtitled to English (except the trailer)

40-page liner notes booklet with essays by Guido Aristarco and Visconti plus an interview with Visconti

DVD Release Date: February 25th, 2008
Transparent Keep case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.80

Edition Details:
• Pagine D'Epoca (1.48)
• Trailer (3.16)
• Galleria Fotografica (3:13)
• Cast/Crew filmographies
• Actors
• Booklet (40 pages in Italy)
• The extra material is not subtitled to English

DVD Release Date:
Digi Pack

Chapters 40

 

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 1.59:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: October 30, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: C'est la Vie

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 1.62:1

NOTE: Box claims it is anamorphic, but is not.
 
Edition Details:
• Visconti documentary (61 min) featuring Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon et al
• Photo gallery
• Trailer
• Biographies and filmographies of Cardinale, Delon, Annie Giradot, Luchino Visconti
• Also includes color booklet about the film and the documentary, including background details on the film, stills and reviews

DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 28

 

Comments:
ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Feb 08':  In comparison we can throw-out the non-anamorphic Image Entertainment and the awful boosted C'est la Vie. IMdb, and other sources, claim this film was shot with an intended ratio of 1.66:1 but both the Medusa and MoC are around 1.8:1 - both are progressive and 16X9 enhanced. They look remarkably similar with possibly the MoC having some boosted black levels to bring up sharpness at times. Both look very good but not pristine. For all we know this is the best this film will look on digital. The Masters of Cinema package vaults ahead with some strong supplements - all optionally subtitled in English.

First we have Cinecronaca newsreel from 1960 - it runs almost 7 minutes. Then there is a short Caleidoscopio newsreel - also from 1960. We may view the original Italian trailer running a lengthy 3minutes 15 seconds. Les Coulisses Du Tournage is a French featurette / documentary from 2003 with extensive clips from the film and input from Cardinale and others - it runs almost a half hour. Guiseppe Rotunno, Visconti's cinematographer on Rocco and His Brothers, is interviewed from Italian TV 1999. It is 20 minutes long. There is another interview - this time with Annie Girardot from 2002 from French TV talking about her experiences working with Visconti - it is a half hour long. Next up is a 23 minute Claudia Cardinale interviewed from from 1999 as part of the Italian RAI series for Memories of Italian Cinema. Finally a wonderfully insightful, hour long, RAI Luchina Visconti documentary from 1999 with input from Burt Lancaster, Cardinale, Jean Marais and others. All extra material is optionally subtitled in English (except the trailer). Finally there is a wonderful 40-page liner notes booklet with essays by Guido Aristarco and Visconti plus an interview with Visconti.

BOTTOM LINE: the image appears as equal to, or a marginal improvement over, the Italian Medusa edition, but the huge bonus is the almost 3 hours of relevant supplement material on the second disc is almost worth the price alone. Add to that the magnificent included booklet and it's easy to identify the Master of Cinema as the definitive package for this classic neorealist film - Visconti's personal favorite. We say - BUY!   

 - Gary W. Tooze  

***

ADDITION: Medusa - Oct 06': On the Medusa DVD cover there's a note: VERSIONE RESTAURATA. Even though these seems to be the best version (with English subs) to date, it's not Criterion standard. The Image is 16X9 enhanced, but has an overall softness. There's aliasing visible, and occasionally the image looks very "digital". But it can be viewed successfully with a projector, where the other versions exhibit too many flaws. Why these edition is 1:40 seconds longer than C'est la Vie I don't know.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

Both are relatively bad prints but the C'est La Vie has had some contrast boosting. Both are hazy. The C'est la Vie has a 2nd disc with a documentary about director Visconti, but that hardly makes up for the poor image quality. If you require English subtitles then the Image has the best picture quality, but if you understand French then there is a dubbed TV1 version with slightly better picture image.

 - Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus

 

Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT Medusa - Region 2- PAL RIGHT

 

 

 

Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL - Disc 2

 



(Image - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. C'est la vie - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

3) C'est la Vie - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

.


 


 

1) Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

3) C'est la Vie - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

.

 


 

 

1) Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

3) C'est la Vie - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

.

 

 


 

1) Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

3) C'est la Vie - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

.

 


 

 

1) Eureka 'Master of Cinema' - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

3) C'est la Vie - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

.

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

MoC / Medusa

Sound:

-

Extras: MoC

Menu:

MoC

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution Eureka 'Masters of Cinema'
Region 0 - PAL

Medusa

Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

  

 

  

Image Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

C'est la Vie
Region 2 - PAL

 



 


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA