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1973, Kino Lorber, 125 min, Italy/France, Dir: Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmüller and her co-stars from SWEPT AWAY, Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato, reteam for a brilliant drama about a simple-hearted assassin who comes to Rome to kill Mussolini, only to fall in love with a vulnerable young prostitute. Wertmüller turns Salome's whorehouse into a stunning metaphor for Italy in the late 1930s - a house riddled with compromise and intrigue, rouged and painted on the outside but bleeding on the inside.

1960, Janus Films, 117 min, France/Italy, Dir: René Clément

Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when PURPLE NOON made him an instant star. He plays Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) back to the United States. What initially seems a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft and murder. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be at once suspenseful and erotic, and features some gorgeous location photography of coastal Italy.

1968, Paramount, 138 min, UK/Italy, Dir: Franco Zeffirelli

One of the most beloved of all Shakespeare films stars young actors Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey as the Bard’s star-crossed lovers, caught between their feuding families in Renaissance Italy. Shot on location, this ravishing adaptation earned well-deserved Oscars for cinematography and costumes, and features one of composer Nino Rota’s most memorable scores. Narration by Laurence Olivier.

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