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Senso (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 8 July 1968 (USA)
Trailer
3:28 | Trailer
A troubled and neurotic Italian Countess betrays her entire country for a self-destructive love affair with an Austrian Lieutenant.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Luchino Visconti (story), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (story) | 8 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Farley Granger ... Il tenente Franz Mahler
Alida Valli ... La contessa Livia Serpieri
Massimo Girotti ... Il marchese Roberto Ussoni
Heinz Moog Heinz Moog ... Il conte Serpieri
Rina Morelli ... Laura, la governante
Christian Marquand ... Un ufficiale boemo
Sergio Fantoni ... Luca
Tino Bianchi Tino Bianchi ... Il capitano Meucci
Ernst Nadherny ... Il comandante della piazza di Verona
Tonio Selwart Tonio Selwart ... Il colonello Kleist
Marcella Mariani Marcella Mariani ... Clara, la prostituta
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Storyline

Venezia, spring of 1866, in the last days of the Austrian occupation. A performance of Il Trovatore ends up in confusion due to an anti-Austrian demonstration, organised by Count Ussoni. His cousin Countess Serpieri falls in love with vile Austrian Lieutenant Franz Mahler, but the times are changing. Written by Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

italy | love | venezia | betrayal | opera | See All (55) »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | German

Release Date:

8 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wanton Contessa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,984, 28 October 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,723, 13 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lux Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited/dubbed) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Il tenente Franz Mahler: It's too late! It's over! I'm not your romantic hero!
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate English version was released with the title "The Wanton Contessa" and features dialogue rewritten by Tennesee Williams and Paul Bowles. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura III (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Sinfonia N. 7 in mi maggiore (7th Symphony)
Music by Anton Bruckner
Performed by Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai
Conducted by Franco Ferrara
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Luchino Visconti's aesthetic revolution
25 September 2010 | by ilpohirvonenSee all my reviews

Senso was Visconti at his most elegant and aesthetic. It opened his series of historical spectacles. The film showed that epics and melodramas can entail political criticism as any other genres. Senso is his intelligent analysis about the Italian unification - Risorgimento. The film's criticism didn't please all the people and it suffered from censorship and it was edited several times. Nonetheless this aesthetically beautiful film still stands out as a fine ironic masterpiece.

The year is 1866 and the moment people have dreamed for decades - centuries - is in our hands. Garibaldi is coming and the Italians are beating the Austrians. In the middle of all this Visconti tells us a story about an Italian woman, who is the cousin of the leader of the underground resistance, who falls in love with an Austrian lieutenant. She is blinded by her romantic illusion and is ready to betray her family, friends, ideals and native land - these are part of the ethical problematics in Senso.

Senso was Visconti's first color film and he obviously had put a lot of effort to it. It's visually gorgeous and meant an aesthetic revolution for Italian cinema. It is no coincidence that it starts in an opera which Visconti did a lot himself too. The opening sequence shows us the basic power of Opera and melodrama - to change life, infrastructure without forgetting the concrete history.

Historical films always tell us about two different ages, intentionally or unintentionally: the one the story takes place in and the time it was made in. It's a film about the Italian unification but also a study about the deepest emotions in Italy during the 1950's. Italy after WWII, filled with neo realism - antifascist battle and hope for democracy. But also about the downside; the victory of the right-wingers and the beginning of the Cold War.

Senso is a gorgeous film which requires patience and love from its viewer. It's a political, ironic, revolutionary and aesthetic film. Truly one of the biggest landmarks in Visconti's career but also in the history of Italian cinema.


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