13 user 2 critic

When in Rome (1952)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 10 July 1952 (Portugal)
An American fugitive flees to Rome and tries to elude capture by masquerading as a priest.


Clarence Brown


Robert Buckner (story), Dorothy Kingsley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On New Year's Eve 1946, Sheila Page kills her husband Barney. She wishes that she could relive 1946 and avoid the mistakes that she made throughout the year. Her wish comes true but cheating fate proves more difficult than she anticipated.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Leslie, Virginia Field
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man who is down on his luck falls in with a criminal.

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Frank Lovejoy, Kathleen Ryan, Richard Carlson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired.

Director: Don Hartman
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey
The Cuckoos (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two phony fortune tellers get mixed up with gypsies.

Director: Paul Sloane
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman reports that her young daughter is missing, but there seems to be no evidence that she ever existed.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A con man must pass himself off as the owner of a château on the French Riviera when he is expected to host his estranged daughter's wedding.

Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Stars: Frank Morgan, Florence Rice, John Beal
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A teenager plays cupid for her widowed father but picks the wrong woman.

Director: David Burton
Stars: Herbert Marshall, Anne Shirley, Gertrude Michael
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1902, medicine show con man Dan Thompson settles down with the daughter he hardly knows in a New York theatrical boarding house full of eccentric characters. Forced to take a job in an ... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Frank Morgan, Mary Howard, Billie Burke
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A veteran homicide detective who has witnessed his socialite girlfriend kill her husband sees his inexperienced brother assigned to the case.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, John Dall
Fantasy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Johnny Riggs, a con man on the lam, finds himself in a Latin-American country named Patria. There, he overhears a convent-bred rich girl praying to her guardian angel for help in managing ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer, Frank Morgan
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When they are forced to work together, rival detectives fall in love.

Director: Noel M. Smith
Stars: Jane Wyman, Dick Foran, Gloria Dickson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two wisecracking manicurists flee an irate gangster.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell, Robert Armstrong


Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Father John X. Halligan
Paul Douglas ... Joe Brewster
Joseph Calleia ... Aggiunto Bodulli
Carlo Rizzo Carlo Rizzo ... Antonio Silesto
Tudor Owen ... Father McGinniss
Dino Nardi Dino Nardi ... Commissario Genoa
Aldo Silvani Aldo Silvani ... Cabby with horse and buggy
Mario Siletti ... Luigi Lugacetti
Argentina Brunetti ... Mrs. Lugacetti
Mimi Aguglia ... Rosa
Emory Parnell ... Ship's Captain
Charles Fawcett Charles Fawcett ... Mr. Cates
Alberto Lolli Alberto Lolli ... Father Segatini
Adriano Ambrogi Adriano Ambrogi ... Father Mariani
Amina Pirani Maggi Amina Pirani Maggi ... Dove


An American fugitive flees to Rome and tries to elude capture by masquerading as a priest.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll have a wonderful time!


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 July 1952 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Abenteuer in Rom See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »


Box Office


$1,313,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Paul Douglas comments that St. Peter's is bigger than Yankee Stadium. In fact, the Yankee Stadium of 1952 could fit into just the central aisle of St. Peter's. See more »


A large moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall behind Father John when he is in Bodulli's office asking for his help in getting a pardon for Joe. See more »


Father John X. Halligan: Holiness often disappears with the daylight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: "1950 was a holy year. Three million pilgrims from every part of the world thronged to Rome, the Eternal City. Our story is about two men who journeyed to Rome that year. One was Father John X. Halligan, a young priest from Coaltown, Pennsylvania, whose mission was a holy one; the other was Joe Brewster, late of Sing Sing, San Quentin, Joliet, and Atlanta, whose mission was not so holy...

If our story has a moral, it's a simple one: God may move in mysterious ways, but He gets there just the same. " See more »


Hymn 'Panis Angelicus'
by César Franck
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

pretty good "good vs. evil " story
21 June 2017 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

So fate puts two men together on an ocean voyage; Father Halligan, a man of the cloth with good intentions, and Joe Brewster, with less than an honorable past. Van Johnson was in his prime here, and could play just about anything. Paul Douglas is Brewster, and usually played the thug, due to his appearance. Brewster takes the priest's clothes and his identity, and makes a run for it when the boat docks in Roma. There are some funny lines… at dinner on the cruise, the passengers have a good sense of humor, and tell some clever jokes, but for the most part, it's a pretty serious suspense drama. Also some beautiful scenery of Rome, as we travel around. 1950 had actually been a holy year in the Catholic church, so Buckner, the writer, used that as a basis for the story. What better theme to include the battle of right and wrong than a story based on a priest? We hear over and over again how Father Halligan is trying to decide if he should turn in Brewster. Lots of jokes about safe-crackers and what it was like in Sing Sing. Pretty good story, if you buy in and go along for the ride. We see all the beautiful, old historic landmarks of Rome, and have an adventure along the way. Directed by Clarence Brown, who had directed so many Garbo films, and was nominated for SIX Oscars! Shows on Turner Classics now and then. Kind of a "feel good" story, but not real meaty.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed