7.5/10
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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 »
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3 wins & 2 nominations. 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

Gross USA:

$27,723

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,723
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

Luchino Visconti insisted on fresh-cut flowers be put in every set each morning, regardless of whether there was any filming going to be done in the set or not that day. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Two versions of the film are available on video.
  • One version is missing the scene where Livia tries to explain where all the money meant for the troops went.
  • Another version is missing the climatic battle sequence between the Austrian and Italian troops.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Luchino Visconti (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

L'onda de'suoni mistici
(uncredited)
(from "Il Trovatore; Act 3")
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Anita Cerquetti, Gino Penno
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Senso
3 October 2013 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Opens with a lush rendition of Il Trovatore at Teatro La Fenice, SENSO is an ostentatious melodrama imprinted with Visconti's pronounced blue blood opulence, retells an Italian countess' (Valli) vain and poignant attempt to pursue her one-sided affection to an Austrian officer (Granger shines in the rich Technicolor palette as an Adonis), whose misogyny and promiscuity will cause his own doom and mar her mentality up to the hilt.

The film sets its time during the fall of Austrian occupation in Venezia 1866, Valli is wavering between her bureaucratic husband (Moog) and rioting cousin (Girotti), to break loose from the stalemate, she irrevocably falls for a young lieutenant in the opponent camp, but he is no knight in shining armor but a foul and spineless scoundrel with irresistible sheen of deadly charm. Granger's gorgeous lover-boy image is a quintessential smokescreen to veil his despicable innards, but after all, it is a consensual deal despite of Valli's false hope, more significantly its anti-war signals have been forcibly cast by Granger's self-abandonment and the lousy war battlefield experienced by Girotti, which, more plausibly it is an intentional move by Visconti, a distraction from the central turmoil, but done with a tinge of amateurish fecklessness.

Valle shoulders on a profound effort to scrutinize a woman's inscrutable sexual desire which being repressed for too long, both she and Granger align themselves with Visconti's brimful-of- emotion style (again, thanks to Techincolor and the overstuffed score as well) which approximate the OTT threshold in certain degree, although falling out with Visconti eventually, Granger succeeds in bringing about his best screen persona and it was such a great era when a gay man can play an outright straight womanizer on the celluloid.

On the one hand SENSO fails to impress me as my favorite among Visconti's work of art, and scale-wise pales by comparison with LUDWIG (1972, 8/10) and THE LEOPARD (1963, 8/10), but on the other hand, only Visconti can flaunt such an overbearing melodrama with true mettle and without any compromise, a trend-setter would inspire later kindred spirits, for instance Baz Luhrmann's 3D adaption of the bourgeois sumptuosity THE GREAT GATSBY (2013, 8/10).


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