The Pigeon That Took Rome

The Pigeon That Took Rome is a 1962 American comedy war film directed and written by Melville Shavelson and starring Charlton Heston. The film is set in the Italian Campaign of World War II and was based on the 1961 novel The Easter Dinner by former spy Donald Downes.

The Pigeon That Took Rome
Poster of The Pigeon That Took Rome.jpg
Original film poster
Directed byMelville Shavelson
Produced byMelville Shavelson
Written byDonald Downes (novel)
Melville Shavelson (screenplay)
StarringCharlton Heston
Elsa Martinelli
Music byAlessandro Cicognini
CinematographyDaniel L. Fapp
Edited byFrank Bracht
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 20, 1962 (1962-06-20)
Running time
103 mins.
CountryUnited States


In 1944, during the last stages of the war in Europe, American officers Paul MacDougall (Heston) and Joseph Angelico (Guardino) are sent to Rome to act as spies for the Allies, even though they have no experience in espionage. Working with Italian partisan soldier Ciccio Massimo (Baccaloni), MacDougall and Contini send regular reports to their superiors by carrier pigeon.

Angelico also finds himself falling in love with Massimo's pregnant daughter Rosalba (Pallotta), while her sister Antonella (Martinelli) has her eye on MacDougall. Angelico proposes to Rosalba, and Ciccio prepares a feast to celebrate his daughter's upcoming wedding. However, Ciccio prepares squab for the occasion, killing all but one of the carrier pigeons. Ciccio scrambles to replace them, but the new pigeons he finds are German, and they deliver MacDougall's and Angelico's messages directly into enemy hands, creating new confusion.


Awards and nominationsEdit

Academy Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Writers Guild of America

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "NY Times: The Pigeon That Took Rome". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2008-12-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit