A Pilot Returns

A Pilot Returns (Italian: Un pilota ritorna) is a 1942 Italian war film directed by Roberto Rossellini and starring Massimo Girotti, Michela Belmonte and Piero Lulli. The film forms part of Rossellini's "Fascist trilogy" along with The White Ship (1941) and The Man with a Cross (1943). It was made with the co-operation of the Italian Air Force.[1] The film's sets were designed by the architect Virgilio Marchi.

A Pilot Returns
Directed byRoberto Rossellini
Written byMichelangelo Antonioni
Ugo Betti
Gherardo Gherardi
Rosario Leone
Margherita Maglione
Massimo Mida
Vittorio Mussolini
Roberto Rossellini
StarringMassimo Girotti
Michela Belmonte
Piero Lulli
Gaetano Masier
Music byRenzo Rossellini
CinematographyVincenzo Seratrice
Edited byEraldo Da Roma
Alleanza Cinematografica Italiana
Distributed byAlleanza Cinematografica Italiana
Release date
8 April 1942
Running time
87 minutes


During the 1940-1941 Italian invasion of Greece, an Italian pilot is shot down and captured by British forces who place him in a prisoner-of-war camp. While there he meets and falls in love with a young Italian woman who has volunteered to care for the prisoners. After escaping from the British, he manages to steal a plane and return to Italy for further duty. On his arrival he learns that Greece has been successfully conquered by the Axis Powers.



  1. Bondanella p.32


  • Bondanella, Peter. The Films of Roberto Rossellini. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Haaland, Torunn. Italian Neorealist Cinema. Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

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