The Rose Tattoo creates a realistic Italiano atmosphere in the bayou country of the south, establishes vivid characters with one glaring exception and dwells upon a story that is important only because it gives its key character a jumping-off point for fascinating histrionics.
Anna Magnani gives Tattoo its substance; she’s spellbinding as the signora content with the memory of the fidelity of her husband until she discovers he had a blonde on the side before his banana truck carried him to death.
The characters inspire little sympathy. Magnani has animalistic drive and no beauty. Burt Lancaster, as the village idiot by inheritance, is called upon to take on a role bordering on the absurd.
Otherwise Daniel Mann does fine in the directing. He provides pace where some situations might have been static.
1955: Best Actress (Anna Magnani), B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction.
Nominations: Best Picture, Supp. Actress (Marisa Pavan), B&W Costume Design), Editing, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture