OSSESSIONE
1943, 131 min, Italy, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, the first acclaimed work of Italian neorealism is a gritty, earthy (and unlicensed) adaptation of the famous noir novella, much closer in tone and spirit to Cain’s tale than the 1946 Hollywood version. Clara Calamai and Massimo Girotti burn up the screen as the doomed lovers, but Visconti makes the story as much about poverty as about lust and greed. The film was reviled and banned by Italy’s Fascist government, and MGM (legal holder of the movie rights) confiscated and destroyed all the prints it could find. Yet OSSESSIONE survives, a stunning hybrid of noir and neorealism - the director’s first masterpiece. In Italian with English subtitles.


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