CONVERSATION PIECE
GRUPPO DI FAMIGLIA IN UN INTERNO
1974, Minerva Pictures, 121 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Retired American professor Burt Lancaster lives a quiet, comfortable life in Rome surrounded by his books, paintings and other conversation pieces – until he is forced to rent a floor in his palazzo to a coarse marchesa (Silvana Mangano) and her companions. Visconti’s look at a bastion of tradition confronted by upper-class decadence earned a David di Donatello award for Best Film and boasts a strong cast including Helmut Berger and Claudia Cardinale.


CRISS CROSS
1949, Universal, 87 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

When he died in 1947, producer Mark Hellinger had just begun pre-production on this crime-infected love story. Thanks to the inspired vision of director Siodmak, CRISS CROSS now stands as perhaps the most darkly poetic rendering of amour fou in all film noir. Burt Lancaster and Dan Duryea plot a daring heist, while vying for the affections of sensual Yvonne DeCarlo. Remade by Stephen Soderbergh as THE UNDERNEATH.


ALL MY SONS
1948, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Irving Reis

Edward G. Robinson gives one of his most affecting performances as successful businessman Joe Keller, grappling with guilt over having framed his business partner for a crime he committed. When his son (Burt Lancaster) becomes engaged to the convicted man’s daughter, the sins of the past come hurtling back. Reis and writer-producer Chester Erskine - aided by the noir-stained cinematography of Russell Metty - create a powerful (and inexplicably rare) version of Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning play.


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