Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Journey to Italy (1954)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Journey to Italy (1954, It./Fr.) (aka Viaggio in Italia, or Voyage in Italy)

In Roberto Rossellini's romantic drama about a couple in a troubled marriage traveling in Italy together:

  • the two main characters - an unhappily-married English couple (after eight years of marriage) touring in Naples, Italy to sell a villa property left to them by recently deceased Uncle Homer, and finding themselves alone for one of the first times in their marriage - and very dissatisfied: sensitive-minded Katherine Joyce (Ingrid Bergman) and workaholic, cold-hearted, brusque Alexander 'Alex' Joyce (George Sanders)
  • their unexpected strained relationship and troubled marriage - and their contemplation of getting a divorce, or trying to renew themselves:
    - Katherine: "I realized for the first time that we, we're like strangers"
    - Alex: "That's right. After eight years of marriage, it seems we don't know anything about each other"
    - Katherine: "At home, everything seemed so perfect, but now that we're away, alone..."
    - Alex: "Yes, it's a strange discovery to make...Now that we're strangers, we can start all over again at the beginning"
  • the pivotal scene - their visit to the ancient ruins of the lava-covered city of Pompeii in 79 AD, at the site of archaeological excavations; and the slow uncovering and unearthing of the disintegrated yet preserved remains of two people (in plaster casts or molds) in Naples' Fontanelle cemetery who had died lying together: ("Two people just as they were at the moment they died...a man and a woman, perhaps husband and wife, who knows? May have found death like this together?") - and the profound, disturbed and moving reaction of the couple: Katherine: "Oh, Alex, this is too much. I can't stand it any longer. Please take me home. I want to go home. I don't want to stay here any longer." Later as they quickly departed, Alex also admitted to her: "I understand how you feel. I was pretty moved myself"
The Shocked Reaction to Views of Preserved Remains
  • the moving resolution scene - the reconciliation of the couple, who were seriously threatening to break up in the midst of a religious processional (crowds of joyous marchers cried out: 'Miracle! Miracle!'); when they became separated, she desperately called out for Alex's help - and the two were reunited and became recommitted to each other with newfound hope and an embrace: Katherine: "Oh, I don't want to lose you." Alex: "Katherine, what's wrong with us? Why do we torture one another?" Katherine: "When you say things that hurt me, I try to hurt you back. Don't you see? But I can't - I can't any longer, because I love you." Alex: "Perhaps we get hurt too easily." Katherine: "Tell me that you love me." Alex: "Well, if I do, will you promise not to take advantage of me?" Katherine: "Yes, but tell me. I want to hear you say it." Alex: "Alright, I love you."

Unhappily-Married Couple: Katherine and Alex

Katherine: "We're like strangers"

Reconciliation in the Conclusion


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z