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Italy, 1942 (MIFF 1979, Missed Masterpieces)

Director: Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti's first film was based on James Cain's thriller 'The Postman Always Rings Twice', which was also made into a French film in 1939, and was turned into the celebrated Hollywood movie by Tay Garnett, in 1946.

The theme of the story is the destructive power of sexual passion. Gino turns up by chance at a roadside country inn, stays on as a labourer; Giovanna, the inn-keeper's wife, and he, fall in love. They decide to leave together, but after half an hour on the road, Giovanna changes her mind, and Gino goes off alone.

A few weeks later, her husband, Bragana, and Giovanna meet him again by chance in a nearby town, and Bragana, innocently, insists that he go back with them. On the journey the lovers, mainly at her instigation, murder the husband in a staged accident.

They settle down uneasily to run the cafe, but mutual distrust grows when Giovanna collects Bragana's life insurance, and he starts to suspect her of having used him to serve her own financial interests. In retaliation, he spends an afternoon with another girl, but slips away when he realises that the police are closing in. The lovers are reconciled, but as they drive away to escape imminent arrest, their car skids off the road and Giovanna is killed.

See also...


Italy, 1965
After many years abroad, Sandra returns to her native town with her American husband, Andrew. They have come to attend the ceremony at which the family gardens are to be handed over to the city as a … More »


Italy, 1963
Until the Risorgimento of 1839 Italy had been a cluster of feudal monarchies propped up by the crumbling Austrian Empire. Within a few years Garibaldi's vanguard of "Red Shuts" landed in Sicily and w… More »


Italy, 1976
The Intruder is based on D'Annunzio's book, The Innocent', transferred to the screen with minimal changes by Visconti. Set in the late 19th century, the plot tells of Tullio Hermil (Giancarlo Giannin… More »

Costumes from the Films of Visconti

Australia, 1978
Luchino Visconti's meticulous concern for design and detail is demonstrated in this documentary record of an exhibition of some of the costumes especially made for his films. ... More »


Italy, 1948
In 1947, Visconti went to Sicily with a small amount of capital advanced by the Communist Party, to make a film that expanded into a mammoth epic on the conditions of the poor workers and peasants of… More »

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