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Ossessione (1943)
Starring: Clara Calamai, Dhia Cristiani, Vittoria Duse, Massimo Girotti, Elio Marcuzzo, Michele Riccardini
Director: Luchino Visconti
Category: Avant Garde, Foreign
Studio: Image Ent.
144 mins



Passion turns deadly when beautiful but frustrated Giovanna (Deep Red's Clara Calamai) finds herself helplessly drawn to Gino (Last Tango in Paris' Massimo Girotti), a handsome drifter staying at her inn. Repulsed by her husband, Giovanna begs Gino to rid her of the unappreciative spouse and help her to collect his hefty insurance premium, the solution to all their problems. The course of cold-blooded murder never runs smoothly, however, and soon the lovers are trapped in a downward spiral of deception, jealousy and cruel fate.

Internationally acclaimed director Luchino Visconti (Death in Venice, Rocco and His Brothers) ignited a stormy religious and political scandal in Italy with the release of this film, which adapted James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice through the eye of a master filmmaker. Banned and censored for years, Ossessione launched the influential neorealist movement in Italian cinema and profoundly affected generations of audiences. Now available in its original, uncensored director's cut, Visconti's debut masterwork still stands as both a powerful thriller and a devastating portrayal of society thrown into turmoil.