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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...


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 »


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 ... More »


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 ... More »


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 »


... ... Visconti sketched out the Idea for Rocc e i suoi fratelli(Rocco and his Brothers) in spring 1958 producer Franco Cristaldi. He worked on a treatment with Vasco Pratolini the novelist and Suso ... More »


As with The Pied Piper which Jacques Demy made in 1971, Peau d'ane is an attempt to bring a fairytale narrative to the screen in as faithful a way to the original as possible, yet subtly ... More »

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