Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City was filmed as WW2 continued to devastate Northern Italy. It was distributed in movie theaters in war-torn Italy, and was received with lukewarm reviews by many Italian critics. Nevertheless, it unexpectedly ended up being a success both in Italy and, perhaps even more surprisingly, in the United States. In New York, in particular, long lines would form in front of the theaters in which it was being shown. As director Otto Preminger said, the history of cinema can be divided into two parts: before, and after, Rome, Open City.