1950 August 23

U.S. Senate Brands Famous Italian Film Director a “Fascist”


The U.S. Senate on this day unanimously endorsed a resolution by Sen. Edwin C. Johnson (D-CO) labelling the noted Italian film director Roberto Rossellini a “fascist.” Specifically, it labelled both Rossellini, husband of the noted actress Ingrid Bergman, a “fascist libertine.” Bergman’s affair with Rossellini while she was still married and while filming “Stromboli” provoked moral outrage among conservatives in the U.S. Bergman did not visit the U.S. for several years, as a result. On the Senate floor, Senator Johnson also read from a report that labelled Rossellini a fascist, narcotics addict, mental patient, and wartime lover of a Nazi actress.

The Senate resolution also stated films directed or produced by “totalitarian-minded” film people should be banned from interstate commerce in the U.S. (which would effectively make them not profitable).

Rossellini’s most acclaimed films include Rome, Open City (1945) and Paisan (1946).



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