GIORNI DI GLORIA (Giuseppe De Santis, Mario Serandrei, Luchino Visconti, Marcello Pagliero, 1945)

Dense and comprehensive, Days of Glory documents, through archival materials, partisan efforts against both Fascism and the German occupation in Italy, the liberation of northern Italy, and the trials of war criminals such as Pietro Caruso, the Fascist head of the Italian police. A film such as this is cumulative; we get a look at […]

WE, THE WOMEN (Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Luigi Zampa, Gianni Franciolini, Alfredo Guarini, 1953)

Called in the U.S. either We, the Women or Of Life and Love, Siamo donne is a composite film from Italy whose overall idea legendary screenwriter Cesare Zavattini originated. Each of four segments showcases a major star/actress; one tedious segment, with a labored postmodern spin, a starlet. The four “celebrities,” each ostensibly playing herself, are […]

L’INNOCENTE (Luchino Visconti, 1976)

From D’Annunzio, Luchino Visconti’s last film, The Innocent, is among his most restrained, elegant and powerful works. The protagonist is Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini, mugging—the film’s only weakness), an aristocrat in late nineteenth-century Italy who frankly discusses his mistress with wife Giuliana; he tells Giuliana his respect and brotherly affection have increased as his passion for […]

ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS (Luchino Visconti, 1960)

The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest Films from Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so. — Dennis Italy produces the most trenchant films about brothers. Among these are Valerio Zurlini’s Family Diary (1962), Francesco Rosi’s Three […]

WHITE NIGHTS (Luchino Visconti, 1957)

The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest Films from Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so. — Dennis Bellissima proved to be Luchino Visconti’s last Neorealist film. A purplish forbidden romance, Senso (1954), followed—a work of visual […]