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9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani, Elio Marcuzzo, Vittorio Duse
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Writers: Luchino Visconti, Alberto Moravia, Antonio Pietrangeli, Gianni Puccini, Giuseppe De Santis
  • Producers: Libero Solaroli
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English, Korean
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000687DE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,840 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Passion turns deadly in this controversial neo-realist classic from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti (Death in Venice), adapted from James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice." Beautiful hotel owner Giovanna ("Deep Red's" Clara Calamai) is hopelessly drawn to Gino ("Last Tango in Paris'" Massimo Girotti), a handsome drifter. They decide to kill off her spouse and collect his hefty insurance premium, but soon the lovers are trapped in a spiral of deception, jealousy, and fate. Banned and censored for years, "Ossessione" profoundly affected generations of audiences after causing a stormy religious and political scandal in Italy, and is now available in its original, uncensored director's cut.

Ossessione isn't just the finest film version of The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain's classic tale of murder, betrayal, and erotic obsession; it's also the first masterpiece of Italian neorealism and a key historical precursor of film noir. A handsome drifter (Massimo Girotti) fetches up at an isolated roadhouse, gets mutually besotted with the proprietor's sultry wife (Clara Calamai), and has soon carried out a plot to murder the older man in an apparent off-road accident. That's only the beginning, of course. In his directorial debut, Luchino Visconti weaves a sensuous, tragic spell, born equally of the stark, sun-struck settings--especially those utterly realistic yet somehow otherworldly highways, elevated above the surrounding marshland--and a dynamic camera style that lifts the storytelling to operatic heights. Yet another layer of erotic complication is added by the presence of "La Spagnolo" (Elio Marcuzzo), a philosopher-king of vagabonds who--like the director--is at least as infatuated with Girotti's studly beauty as the heroine is. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Jan. 17 2004
Format: DVD
Unhappy people in unhappy circumstances. Gino is a drifter. Not because he has no talent. He is a lost soul looking for an undefined future and is determined to not be tied to anything until he finds his personal nirvana. Giovanna wants the security of being settled, but is unhappy with the man who made it possible. She too, is a lost soul in search of an undefined future. With only passion as a common denominator, they cast their lots with each other and start in motion a chain of events that brings none of the joys anticipated.
Don't expect this movie to be a study of life in WWII Italy. Though made during the war, it is never an issue. Indeed, with the prevalence of young men throughout the movie, it is more likely an image of pre-war Italy. And although some reviewers speak of subtle references to homosexuality, such is unnecessary in describing the Spaniard. Identical scenes in American Westerns are understood to be simply friendship and the necessities of circumstance, i.e., one bed and two people in need of sleep.
Every nuance of the movie hinges upon the passion of Gino and Giovanna, complicated by his desire to be going somewhere, anywhere, and her desire to remain settled. It's a traumatic but absorbing ride, even with the distraction of reading sub-titles.
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Format: DVD
Early Italian version of James M.Cain's "Postman Always Rings Twice" by Luchino Visconti is the best I've seen. Set in a sparse Italian village in the white heat of summer, a drifter named Gino begins an affair with Giovanna, the unhappy wife of a cafe owner who offers him work. She tries to leave with him but returns to the husband afraid of giving up what little security she has. The drifter continues on the road and takes up with a self-styled King of the Vagabonds who does street shows and happily lives on nothing. The vagabond is attracted to Gino but Gino (who's hungry for more out of life) can't forget Giovanna. Later, Gino's and Giovanna's paths cross again and murder binds them together in a fatal (and ironic) bond. Earthy and stark storytelling as well as excellent cinematography make this a compelling film to watch. The acting is remarkable as is the casual sexual frankness that was off the screen in American films at the time. The utter desperation of the two characters' lives is beautifully realized and is nicely contrasted with the vagabond's existance that he is clearly happy with. The ending is unforgettably done. "Ossessione" is rich with atmosphere and detail and laden with irony. Highly recommended as a vintage classic of Italian cinema.
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Format: VHS Tape
As many of you know, this is the first film adaptation of James M. Cain's novel, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", but there's something, that to me is even more important than that. It was the first film made by one of my favorite directors, Luchino Visconti.
Before I saw this movie, I think like most I saw the two American films first. When you watch those movies first and try to compare it to this, this one will come off being much different. It doesn't seem to follow the same formula. There were two things that bothered me about this movie and they both deal with the same thing, the death of the husband. First of all I didn't like the way the idea was approached. There wasn't much of a lead in. Though, in fairness, we do "sense" it will happen. Secondly, if you remember in the American versions, remember how well planned out everything was? They both made sure that they had all the angles figured out. They made sure they had a witness seeing that the husband was drunk. That was something I liked about the movie. How it showed this "perfect" plan. Visconti doesn't allow such detail into the actually murder scene. Infact, he offers none. Does that ruin the movie? No, but, it would have been nice if Visconti would have given the movie more detail.
Clara Calamai plays Giovanna Bragana the unhappy wife who wants to murder her husband. Massimo Girotti is Gino Costa, the man who help Giovanna kill her husband, so they can be together. Finally there's Juan de Landa, the husband. Now most of the movie follows the story most of us are familiar with. There are some small changes in this movie though. I can't clearly remember the American movies, but I don't remember in either one, the woman coming on to the guy first. In this movie it's the woman that makes the first move.
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By LGwriter on Aug. 14 2002
Format: DVD
Yes, this IS the best filmed version of James Cain's classic The Postman Always Rings Twice. The first version, with Lana Turner and John Garfield, was much too tame and polite. When the husband gets bumped off, it's a matter of fact event, as though the two lovers were going out shopping for wallpaper. And the eroticism of the story is just not there at all--nor is the desperation.
The 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange certainly showed off the sexuality of the story, but was much too vapid and superficial; the director, Bob Rafelson, had apparently decided that the story's core was its sexuality and so focused on that at the expense of pretty much everything else. The desperation that should be brimming over in the development of the story is really not in evidence in this version--the two good looking leads basically just want to have sex a lot and that's what they do. They yell and scream, too, but it's the sex that everyone remembers in this film.
But Luchino Visconti, in this 1943 Italian neo-realist noir, gets it just right. Eroticism is here, but so is desperation, which is just as important, if not more so. This comes through so well because the setting is a small Italian village where there are no really wealthy folks. Everybody's engaged in his or her small activities to get by. The one exception is Giovanna's paunchy husband Giuseppe who's squirreled away a lot of dough.
And the desperation comes through in the doomed couple--Gino the drifter and Giovanna, the wife. Gino's labile temper and emotionality are well portrayed by Massimo Girotti, and Clara Calamai balances Girotti's performance with her depiction of Giovanna as a wife desperate to be free of her gross (to her) husband.
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