“Is it my fault you’ve been a widow too long?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Peary doesn’t review The Rose Tattoo in his GFTFF, but he does name Magnani Best Actress of the Year in his Alternate Oscars, where he concedes that while the film itself “doesn’t really hold up today”, “Magnani is still amazing to watch”. He adds: “There was no one else like her on the American screen. She holds nothing back; her performance is vibrant, lusty, [and] witty.” While Lancaster’s “extremely aggressive, not-too-bright trucker” is simply annoying (this falls squarely into the category of his “just too much” performances):
… it is indeed “a treat to see Magnani’s character finally let herself laugh and be happy with him” because “this actress had the uncanny ability to make us feel whatever emotions her women feel”. The Rose Tattoo‘s storyline isn’t particularly compelling — Serafina needs to face up to her former husband’s infidelity and move on, and of course her daughter should be free to make her own romantic choices — but Magnani’s performance alone does indeed make the film a must-see.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: