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Senso (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1954)

Alida Valli , Farley Granger , Luchino Visconti  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Senso (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Conversation Piece / Gruppo Di Famiglia In Un Interno [Blu-ray] + Death in Venice
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alida Valli, Farley Granger, Heinz Moog, Rina Morelli, Christian Marquand
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,865 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna and Martin Scorsese�s Film Foundation, supervised by director of photography Giuseppe Rotunno, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • The Making of �Senso,� a new documentary featuring Rotunno, assistant director Francesco Rosi, costume designer Piero Tosi, and Caterina D�Amico, daughter of screenwriter Suso Cecchi D�Amico and author of Life and Work of Luchino Visconti
  • Viva VERDI, a new documentary on Visconti, Senso, and opera featuring Italian film scholar Peter Brunette, Italian historian Stefano Albertini, and author Wayne Koestenbaum
  • The Wanton Countess, the rarely seen English-language version of the film
  • Visual essay by film scholar Peter Cowie
  • Man of Three Worlds: Luchino Visconti, a 1966 BBC special exploring Visconti�s parallel masteries of cinema, theater, and opera direction
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker and author Mark Rappaport and an excerpt from actor Farley Granger�s autobiography, Include Me Out

  • Editorial Reviews

    This lush, Technicolor tragic romance from Luchino Visconti (Le notti bianche, The Leopard) stars Alida Valli (The Third Man, Eyes Without a Face) as a nineteenth-century Italian countess who, amid the Austrian occupation of her country, puts her marriage and political principles on the line by engaging in a torrid affair with a dashing Austrian lieutenant, played by Farley Granger (Rope, Strangers on a Train). Gilded with fearless performances, ornate costumes and sets, and a rich classical soundtrack, Visconti�s operatic melodrama is an extraordinary evocation of reckless emotions and deranged lust from one of the cinema�s great sensualists.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Not that SENSO! December 28, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    December 28, 2010
    Amazon should not use these six reviews posted as of today in conjunction with the Criterion Collection DVD to be released on Feb. 22, 2011.
    It is misleading and unfair to the new issue that among other things includes the missing seven minutes opening sequence.
    At least they should make clear to the customers that these six reviews apply to the Korean import ONLY!
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    21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars operatic drama a treat for fans May 22, 2011
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Criterion has made lots of people very happy with this comprehensive release of Luchino Visconti's 1954 masterpiece SENSO. Loosely based on Camillo Boito's novella of the same name, SENSO is the story of a doomed love affair, set during the turmoil of Austria-occupied Italy in 1866.

    During a performance of "Il trovatore" at La Fenice, the Countess Livia (Alida Valli) meets Austrian officer Franz Mahler (Farley Granger). The two fall into a torrid love affair, which is made all the more scandalous because of their individual loyalties. When Franz begs Livia to give him the money he needs in order to bribe certain officials and exit the army, Livia reluctantly hands over the Italian partisan funds that were entrusted to her by her cousin, exiled because of his actions in trying to undermine the Austrian army. When she later receives a rather strange letter from Franz, Livia follows him back to Verona, where her ever-crumbling sanity reaches the breaking point...

    SENSO is a delicate piece which borders on the operatic. It's not by coincidence that shortly after this film, Luchino Visconti became one of the most prolific opera directors in Europe. Leading actors Alida Valli and Farley Granger both deliver superb performances, but the star of SENSO is undoubtedly the bewitching Ms Valli, who in her performance as the Countess Livia, is almost an opera heroine in real-life.

    Lush in it's design and photography, it's strange to think that SENSO sadly didn't make much of an impression during it's original release in 1954. Critics felt that Luchino Visconti was "betraying" his neo-realist attitudes, not quite realising that in SENSO he beautifully blended neo-realism with theatrical grandeur, therefore creating a whole new genre of filmmaking.
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    22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars More exquisite Visconti on Blu-Ray... February 26, 2011
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    Criterion gives us another opulent masterpiece from Luchino Visconti to follow their splendid release of IL GATTOPARDO (THE LEOPARD). The blu-ray has a rich, Technicolor density that beautifully captures the evocative, lush location photography by Guiseppe Rottuno, and is another splendid restoration of classic Italian cinema, under the supervision of Rottuno and Martin Scorsese.
    SENSO is expressionistic filmmaking by a master, full of homoerotic tension in the guise of deranged, heterosexual passion. There is both the original Italian and the rarely-seen, English language version (THE WANTON COUNTESS) to savor here, along with some insightful extras about Verdi, Visconti and the making of the film.
    A remarkable film can now be appreciated in a high-quality US release for home screenings.
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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Bellissimo September 23, 2001
    By D.A.
    Format:VHS Tape
    One of Luchino Visconti's top four or five masterworks. This baroque but magnificent evocation of the Garibaldi period of Italian Revolution in late 19th century is truly one of the great Italian masterpieces of 1950s. The film brilliantly delineates the erotically charged love story between Alida Valli (her best performance ever) and Farley Granger, and the bitter legacy of the revolution. History and Romance merge in a way only Visconti knew how. And the result is an operatic realism at its highest order. Despite the great, heart-renching performances, though, the film's fascination and power lies the sumptuous "look", the realistically accurate detail of that period. Visconti's unique attention to detail is breathtaking. Some may find SENSO crudely melodramatic and is certainly a notch below Visconti's best film, THE LEOPARD (which also features Burt Lancaster's greatest performance); still, it cannot be ignored. It is a must-see if you want to find out why Visconti was one of the great film artists who ever lived.
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    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film of all times August 2, 2002
    By Lincoln
    It's difficult to find, in all the history of the cinema, a so beautifull, sugestive and deep work like this masterpiece of Luchino Visconti. Glorius technicolor, a magnificent cast (even Farley Granger, a very limited actor, is splendid here),dialogues by Tennessee Williams and a wonderful historical recreation of the "Risorgimento", plus a musical score by Verdi and Bruckner make this film a permanent pleasure for persons of good taste. In my opinion the best film of Visconti and perhaps the most beautiful film of all times.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best historical films ever July 7, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    the production design, the music, the attention to period detail, the plot, the actors all fit together in this story of cynical, deluded people betraying each other, themselves, and their country amid beautiful sets and photography. This is an historical film for adults, not some adolescent escapism like Shakespeare in Love.
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    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Visconti Magic April 9, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    Set in the 19th century durning the Italy's resistance to Austrian occupation Visconti was able to dazzle us with a wonderful display of costume designs, production design, and all around great acting. This is course is not to mention the great directing by Visconti himself. Alida Valli starts as an Italian countess who finds love in an unusual place, an Austrian officer (Farley Granger). She begins an affair that can lead both of them into great danger. Her husband can find out and cause ridicule and shame. And as for him, he can lose his position. But, each doesn't care. They are in love! When compared to other Visconti films this one might fall short to masterpieces like "Ludwig" and\or "The Innocent". But, when judged merely as an individual film and not part of Visconti's collection it's quite enjoyable. Wonderful locations,screenplay (Visconti co-wrote the film), and pleasant music by Verdi and Bruckner. Not my favorite Visconti film, but one that would be a good film to start off with your collection of Visconti film.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
    Published 1 month ago by fernando luiz
    5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful movie.
    wonderful movie....i love aida valli ever since i saw her in the Paradine Case...she is wonderful in this so is the rest of the cast....highly recommended!
    Published 1 month ago by history buff
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great film. great seller
    Great film.great seller!
    Published 3 months ago by bartleby
    3.0 out of 5 stars Curious Italian
    I've heard of this for eons, but it has been very difficult to see. It occasionally shows up on TCM, but the print always looks horrible. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by Ronald E. Weber
    5.0 out of 5 stars Visconti and the Furies.
    Senso - a film so famous that a remake in 2011 and an opera were made to dwell on its undying glory. Read more
    Published 22 months ago by Anna Shlimovich
    5.0 out of 5 stars PASSION
    Published on September 18, 2012 by EDUARDO
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece Similar to Children of Paradise
    When you consider this was made in 1954, it blows your mind. All of Visconti's films (except Leopard) were brilliant, but this, Death in Venice, Rocco, and The Damned are his... Read more
    Published on September 1, 2012 by Literato
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good
    Overall, Senso is worth watching, simply because it is well made fluff that, while not deep nor great, represents an important milestone in European cinema. Read more
    Published on June 21, 2012 by Cosmoetica
    2.0 out of 5 stars JCParis
    This version of the wonderful masterpiece "Senso" is a huge deceit, incomprehensible from The Criterion Collection. What happened? Why these ugly colors? Read more
    Published on March 21, 2012 by JCParis
    5.0 out of 5 stars Alida Valli at her most passionate....
    What a great film. Altough Farley Granger seems out of place, I can't recommend this enough for fans of Italian cinema. Read more
    Published on January 28, 2012 by Dr. Morbius
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