In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »
Gino, a young and handsome tramp, stops in a small roadside inn run by Giovanna. She is unsatisfied with her older husband Bragana : she only married him for money. Gino and Giovanna fall in love. But Bragana is inhibiting for their passion, and Giovanna refuses to run away with Gino.Written by
This is a haunting, powerful Italian adaptation of James M. Cain's novel The Postman Always Rings Twice directed by the great Luchino Visconti. What is so interesting about the film is that in every way it transcends it's source material to become something bolder and more original (interestingly Camus also credits Cain's novel as the key inspiration for his landmark novel The Stranger). The film has a greater power and intensity than the novel because Visconti is able to create the filmic equivalent of Cain's narrative structure but offer a more complex exploration of gender. Cain's very American novel is also uncritically fascinated with the construction of whiteness (the lead character Cora is obsessively afraid she will be identified as a Mexican and embarrassed that she married a Greek immigrant), which is not relevant to the Italian rural context that Visconti is working in. This allows the class antagonisms to take center stage and dance among the embers of the passionate, doomed love affair of the two main characters. This film is a complex, suspenseful, rewarding experience.
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