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Senso (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 8 July 1968 (USA)
3:28 | Trailer
An Italian Countess is allied with Nationalists during the Italian-Austrian war of unification. However, she risks betraying their cause when she falls in love with an Austrian Lieutenant.


Luchino Visconti


Luchino Visconti (story), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (story) | 8 more credits »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


Drama | History | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Farley Granger had an irreparable falling-out with director Luchino Visconti towards the end of filming' he left the picture and went home to the US. Visconti handled this by using a "double" to stand in for Granger's character in the final sequences--the double was told to keep his hands in front of his face the whole time, and then was dispatched with his face to the wall. This anecdote is recounted by Francesco Maselli in his fascinating film of personal recollection, Frammenti di Novecento (2005). See more »


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 »


Version of Black Angel (2002) See more »


Di quella pira
(from "Il Trovatore; Act 3")
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Gino Penno
See more »

User Reviews

Sweeping, operatic tragic love story scored to Bruckner
9 October 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Whatever Anton Bruckner had in mind when writing his majestic Seventh Symphony, it probably wasn't as the score to a postwar Italian love story set during the Italian-Austrian conflicts of the Risorgiamento. Though the use of pre-existing classical music as backdrop for films is to be discouraged, here it works in surprising ways. Alida Valli is the Countess Livia Serpieri, in a loveless marriage to an older, collaborationist official. At the opera (Venice's La Fenice during Il Trovatore!) she meets up with a dashing young Austrian officer, Farley Granger. (Digression: After a handful of American films -- They Live by Night, Rope, Side Street, Strangers on a Train -- Granger journeyed to Italy to work with Visconti then fell off the screen for years, only to resurface in a few schlock films in the late 60s and early 70s. What happened to him?) They kindle up a clandestine and dangerous affair -- the wealthy older woman and the manipulative wastrel. After wheedling a small fortune out of her to bribe a doctor who declares him unfit to serve, he dumps her. But hell hath no fury....Luchino Visconti, assisted by the young Franco Zeffirelli -- both were opera directors, too -- pulls out all the stops, ending with a finale reminiscent of Tosca (but with a twist). Senso is a shameless and unforgettable wallow in Italianate passion -- unabashed verismo translated to the silver screen.

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Italian | German

Release Date:

8 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wanton Contessa See more »


Box Office


ITL700,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,984, 28 October 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lux Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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