It Started In Naples (1960)

MELVILLE SHAVELSON Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 1960.  Capri Productions, Paramount Pictures.  Story by Michael Pertwee, Jack Davies, Screenplay by Melville Shavelson, Jack Rose, Suso Cecchi D’Amico.  Cinematography by Robert Surtees.  Produced by Jack Rose.  Music by Alessandro Cicognini, Carlo Savina.  Production Design by Roland Anderson, Hal Pereira.  Costume Design by Orietta Nasalli-Rocca.  Film Editing by Frank Bracht.  Academy Awards 1960.  Golden Globe Awards…

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The Stranger (Lo straniero) (1967)

LUCHINO VISCONTI Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  Italy/France/Algeria, 1967.  Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, Master Film, Marianne Productions, Casbah Film.  Screenplay by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Georges Conchon, Luchino Visconti, script revisions by Emmanuel Roblès, based on the novel by Albert Camus.  Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.  Produced by Alfredo De Laurentiis.  Music by Piero Piccioni.  Production Design by Mario Garbuglia.  Costume Design by Piero…

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Senso (1954)

LUCHINO VISCONTI Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  Italy, 1954.  Lux Film.  Story and Screenplay by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Luchino Visconti, with the collaboration of Carlo Alianello, Giorgio Bassani, Giorgio Prosperi, and dialogue collaboration by Tennessee Williams, Paul Bowles, based on the novel by Camillo Boito.  Cinematography by G.R. Aldo, Robert Krasker.  Produced by Domenico Forges Davanzati.  Production Design by Ottavio…

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Ludwig

BBB (out of 5) The life of the Bavarian prince who died at 40 after barely twenty years on the throne is covered in this four hour period epic by Luchino Visconti, the film he has making when he had the stroke that would contribute to his death four years later. Helmut Berger in capes is a…

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Conversation Piece (Gruppo di Famiglia in un Interno)

BBBB (out of 5) Burt Lancaster is a retired professor and art collector whose quiet idyll is interrupted by the appearance of a pushy aristocrat (Silvana Mangano) who insists on being allowed to rent the room at the top of his manse. Barely able to consent before it happens, Lancaster discovers to his horror that…

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Boccaccio ’70

BBB.5 (out of 5) Four movies for the price of one, though at three and a half hours you certainly feel like you’ve had to work for it. Four situations are constructed around erotic folly in the spirit of the titular fourteenth century writer, trying to recapture and expand on the success of Yesterday, Today…

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The Lady Without Camelias (La Signora Senza Camelie)

BB.5 (out of 5) Exploration of the big bad world of moviemaking, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Lucia Bosé as a gorgeous ingénue at the mercy of the bossy men around her.  On the cusp of becoming a huge star, Bose is pulled away from acting by a filmmaker husband who wants to keep her…

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The Taming Of The Shrew

BBBB (out of 5) The dream team of Burton and Taylor had one of their biggest hits together in this spirited adaptation of the Bard’s comedy. Kate is the viciously tempered elder sister of two whose younger sibling Bianca cannot marry the goodhearted Lucentio (Michael York) unless her sister is married first, as per their father’s…

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Bellissima

BBBB (out of 5) Anna Magnani rules this charmer by Luchino Visconti, a surprisingly light comedy from the director of mostly hard-hitting dramas. She plays a Roman housewife who enters her daughter in a contest at Cinecitta to be the star of a soon-to-be-produced film. The producers are looking for the most beautiful little girl in…

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Le Notti Bianche (White Nights)

BBBB (out of 5) Lonely Marcello Mastroianni finds a sad young woman (Maria Schell) wandering the moonlit streets of the tiny Italian hamlet where he has recently moved for work. Immediately smitten with her, Mastroianni tries to convince Schell to spend some harmless time with him, but she insists she cannot. Assuming provincial modesty is…

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Rocco And His Brothers (Rocco E I Suoi Fratelli)

BBBBB (out of 5) This Visconti masterpiece tells the epic story of an Italian family’s struggles when they leave their poor, tiny village and move to the big city to be with their already established oldest son (Spiros Focás). The stories of all the brothers are explored, centering around Rocco (Alain Delon), the most sensitive…

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