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L'Innocente

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Mar 10, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Gabrielle d'Annunzio’s passionate novel is brought to life in the final masterpiece from acclaimed director Luchino Visconti.

In 19th century Italy, Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini), an insatiable aristocrat, grows bored with his timid wife Giuliana (Laura Antonelli) and neglects her for his more exciting mistress, the wealthy widow Countess Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O'Neill). After learning that Giuliana is having a torrid affair of her own, he becomes tormented by her infidelity and descends into madness.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O'Neill, Marc Porel, Marie Dubois
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NH4CIA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,825 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "L'Innocente" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Westley VINE VOICE on April 26, 2009
Format: DVD
"L'Innocente" was the final film from Italian director, Luchino Visconti, and stands up to his greatest achievements. Laura Antonelli, one of the most alluring stars of 70s Italian cinema, stars as Giuliana Hermil, a beautiful aristocrat who is ignored by her philandering husband, Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini). Everywhere Giuliana goes, she is confronted by the most recent of her husband's conquests, the sensual Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O'Neill). After being embarrassed once too often, Giuliana decides to turn the tables and make her husband jealous. However, she underestimates the power of her plan as well as her husband's passion for her, which results in mounting tragedies.

Adapted from the 1892 novel by Gabriele d'Annunzio, the script for "The Innocent" is extremely good, with Giuliana's revenge beautifully plotted. At times, it's difficult to tell her intentions, but that doesn't really distract from the story. The cast is also one of the most stunning looking in history - Antonelli, O'Neill, and Giannini are joined by doe-eyed Didier Haudepin as Giannini's younger brother (he starred 12 years earlier in the notorious French film, "This Special Friendship"). Their physical beauty rivals the sumptuous Italian villas and scenery with which Visconti populates the film.

I'm not sure why it took until 2009 for this near-masterpiece to be released on DVD, but fortunately they did a nice job. The film looks gorgeous. The subtitles are a bit verbose which makes them go by very quickly (I sometimes had to pause to read all of them), but we do get every delicious word of the screenplay. The extras are limited to an interview on Italian cinema with Suso Cecchi d'Amico, a long-time Visconti collaborator who co-wrote "L'Innocente."
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Format: DVD
This is the final film of Italy's grandest, most operatic filmmaker (and still underrated) Luchino Visconti. For years, this film was really hard to find. It was only available in lousy, faded VHS copies, some of them pan and scan, others in the wrong aspect ratio. Now Koch Lorber has put it out in a wonderful, luxurious transfer, and in its orignal 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

This film is so rich visually that you could just watch it once without the sound, and marvel at the cinematography (by longtime Visconti colloberator Pasqualino de Santis) or at the production design, which is drop dead gorgeous. The music score is incredibly haunting and sad, much like Visconti's superlative use of music in his film of Death in Venice. The performances are also striking. Giancarlo Giannini, known to most film buffs from his hilarious performances in Lina Wertmueller's classic films, gives a fine dramatic performance here, completely believable, and there was no time while watching this film did I think of his comic performances. He's an excellent dramatic actor. Jennifer O'Neil, who is best known for Summer of '42, is excellent as the beautiful but vile mistress of Gianni. Laura Antonelli, who plays Giannini's wife, gives the deepest performance of the woman who is scorned by Giannini, but exacts a revenge on him that is heartbreaking and tragic.

The film is beautifully paced, very leisurely, and visually intoxicating. Visconti was incapacitated by a stroke while making this film, but you wouldn't know it from watching it. Even though he was ill, Luchino never lost his touch, and his artistry/genius shines through every frame here, from the opening credits sequence (which features Visconti's own hand turning pages of the book L'Innocente) to the final, haunting still shot of O'Neil. It's a great final film (even though an artist never intends any work to be their "final" one), and a masterpiece from arguably the most complex of the Italian greats.
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Format: DVD
A torrid tragedy? A turgid travesty? A lurid melodrama? I've never read Gabrielle D'Annunzio, from whose 1892 novel L'Innocente this film was scripted, but I suspect the scriptwriters have been devoutly faithful to the author. The film is torrid, lurid, melodramatic, and tragic enough for the most romance-obsessed viewer, and yet it also rather sardonically depicts a moral travesty. The consequences of Love -- passionate Love, Eros rather than Agape -- are disastrous: cruelty, immorality, betrayal, murder, and suicide. Yes sirree, it's a red velvet, diamond-choker, bodice-ripper of a melodrama. Since I haven't read D'Annunzio, I don't know how stylish his writing was, but the plot of this film could be handled very neatly in a Harlequin Romance. It's also a bit of a skin flick, with righteously torrid scenes between Laura Antonelli (the neglected wife) and Giancarlo Giannini (the neglectful husband whose concupiscence is re-invigorated by jealousy). Antonelli is gorgeous, but her 'rival' Jennifer O'Neill (Tullio's mistress) is even more gorgeous, wherefore one could complain that she isn't given equal uncoverage in the film.

Oh, it is a gorgeous film. The salons and boudoirs of the elite effete of Italian wealth and 'family' are sumptuously photographed. The costumes of the ladies wafting their beauty like potent perfumes through those salons are delectable to the eyes. Life among the aristocracy of the late 19th C was, it seems, deliciously lax and lazy ... and I wish I'd been there!
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