Thursday, August 4, 2011


Back in the 1950's, a popular genre was going around: the melodrama. It was a favorite genre for Douglas Sirk, but it wasn't restricted to just the United States.

Luchino Visconti, a somewhat forgotten name of Italian cinema by today's standards, directed Senso back in 1954. Already aware of Visconti's sense of style with Le Notti Bianche, I watched the movie he did prior to the latter title. It's a tale of romance, war and politics. Normally not something I'm big on, but it's pretty good.

The two stars of Senso are Alida Valli (famous for The Third Man) and Farley Granger (famous for Rope and Strangers on a Train), both unconventional stars of the 1950's. Visconti wanted to have Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando for his movie. I think the movie's fine with Valli and Granger. After all, they manage to add depth to their characters' personalities.

Senso I wasn't too crazy about, but I did love several things about it: the cinematography, the score, the costumes, and Valli and Granger's performances. Not among the great I've seen, but pretty damn good.

My Rating: ****1/2

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