The Gates of Heaven

The Gates of Heaven (Italian: La porta del cielo) is a 1945 Italian drama film directed by Vittorio De Sica.

The Gates of Heaven
Directed byVittorio De Sica
Produced byCorrado Conti di Senigallia
Salvo D'Angelo
Written byVittorio De Sica
Piero Bargellini
Diego Fabbri
Adolfo Franci
Carlo Musso
Enrico Ribulsi
Cesare Zavattini
StarringMarina Berti
Music byEnzo Masetti
CinematographyAldo Tonti
Edited byMario Bonotti
Orbis Film
Centro Cattolico Cinematografico
Distributed byLux Film
Release date
  • 15 February 1945 (1945-02-15)
Running time
88 minutes

The film was made during the German occupation of Rome, with support from the Vatican. This and another film The Ten Commandments allowed a number of actors, under pressure to go north and work in Venice for the film industry of Mussolini's puppet Italian Social Republic, to remain in Rome.[1]

The film's sets were designed by Salvo D'Angelo who also worked as co-producer. Vittorio de Sica hired approximately 300 extras, who were Jewish or simply being persecuted by the Nazi regime, because of their physical oddity. To avoid their deportation and later execution, he prolonged the shooting of the film as long as he could, awaiting the arrival of the allied armies.[2]

The film won the OCIC Special Award at the 53rd Venice International Film Festival in 1996 for efforts to restore the film.[3][4]


This is the story of a train full of sick and deformed pilgrims on their way to seek miracles at the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, near the city of Ancona in eastern Italy.[2]



  1. Gundle p.262
  2. "La puerta del cielo (1945)". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  3. "La porta del cielo". labiennale. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. "Awards for La porta del cielo". Retrieved 7 September 2010.


  • Gundle, Stephen. Mussolini's Dream Factory: Film Stardom in Fascist Italy. Berghahn Books, 2013.
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