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Story of a Love Affair

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Groundlessly jealous of his wife’s romantic past, Enrico Fontana hires a private detective to finally determine whether she is faithful or not. Ironically, his suspicious attitude unconsciously brings his wife Paola (Lucia Bosé) together with Guido (Massimo Girotti), a man with whom she had once been in love. Paola and Guido’s past was clouded in tragedy. Guido had been involved with Paola’s close female friend’s death. Their passion rekindled once again, the lovers even get to the point where they are thinking about murdering Enrico… After making highly regarded documentaries, STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR was Michelangelo Antonioni's first feature length dramatic film. It also signalled a significant change in the direction of post-war neo-realism. Antonioni, the future director of L’AVVENTURA, L’ ECLISSE, BLOW-UP and ZABRISKIE POINT had already begun set down the fundamentals of his future films, exploring the uneasy emotions that lie between the gazes of his characters. Winner of the Italian Film Journalist’s Silver Ribbon for Best Music and a Special Award to Michelangelo Antonioni, this masterpiece still exudes extraordinary and intensely innovative power. Renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese has declared STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR to be one of his all-time favourite and NoShame films is proud to present it for the first time ever on DVD in America, loaded with exclusive extra materials and remastered from the newly restored 35mm film elements.

Before becoming the poster child for the extreme arty, slow paced foreign films of the '60s, Michealanglo Antonioni actually developed his craft on very straightforward, neo-realistic films. Story of a Love Affair (1950) was Antonioni's first feature-length dramatic film, and much to his critics' chagrin, it is extremely linear, it has limited drawn out, "real time" shots, and his actors actually project more emotion than the typical "Antonioni apathy." Enrico (Ferdinando Sarmi) is an extremely wealthy and jealous husband who suspects his young, beautiful bride, Paola (Lucia Bosé), is unfaithful. Instead of confronting her directly, he hires a private detective (Gino Rossi) to investigate her past. While checking up on the mysterious death of Paola's friend, the private dick indirectly puts one of Paola's old lovers (Massimo Girotti) back in contact with his client's wife. Though originally separated due to the death of their close friend, seeing each other sparks up some buried passion that ironically will put Enrico and Paola's marriage to the test. Like his contemporaries' earlier works, Story of a Love Affair is a must for cinephiles who love to see all those "Antonioni-style" trademarks in their infancy. Of particular note is the typical Antonioni shot, in which where the two main characters have a full conversation with their backs to the camera. Though Story of a Love Affair does not pack the historical punch of L'Avventura or Blow Up, it is definitely more approachable for the general public and an excellent neo-realistic film in its own right. --Rob Bracco

Special Features

  • Story of a Peculiar Night - the screening of the restored print in Rome, featuring director Michelangelo Antonioni and interviews with various film business people
  • Identification of a Masterpiece - with assistant director Francesco (Citto) Maselli, film critics Tullio Kezich and Edoardo Bruno (114 Mins.)
  • Restoring a Masterpiece - interviews with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and post-production technicians (6 Mins.)
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Collectible  Booklet - including Antonioni's bio, two original interviews with Antonioni and an essay by Giuseppe Rotunno on the restoration of the film.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lucia Bosé, Massimo Girotti, Ferdinando Sarmi, Gino Rossi, Marika Rowsky
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Daniele D'Anza, Francesco Maselli, Piero Tellini, Silvio Giovaninetti
  • Producers: Franco Villani, Stefano Caretta
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: NoShame Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NSE5Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Story of a Love Affair" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unlike what the other reviewer stated, Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Story of a Love Affair" is not an adaptation of James M. Cain's classic "The Postman Always Rings Twice." That film is 1943's "Ossessione," also starring Massimo Girotti, and which was the first film by another great Italian director, Luchino Visconti. (And which is actually a better film, Girotti is certainly much better in "Ossessione.")

"The Story of a Love Affair" is structured as a noir/thriller. At the beginning, a jealous wealthy businessman in Milan hires a detective to find if his wife (Lucia Bose) is unfaithful and by doing so unwittingly rekindles her love for another man (Massimo Girotti), who may have been complicit with her on the death of her former best friend (who was also his fiancee). As their love affair progresses, the reunited lovers ponder killing the husband.

Although set up as a thriller, Antonioni is less interested in crime than in the psychology of the leading couple: an unhappily married society wife (Bose) and a down-on-his-luck former WWII soldier (Girotti). Lucia Bose, then only 19, is not a very good actress, but she's striking to look at, and Antonioni makes the most of her beautiful face. Girotti is not that great either, but he's also perfectly cast. The merits of this film really have to do with great visuals, not with great acting, so in that respect they're both excellent in their parts.

While not as great as other noirish debuts by great European directors, like Visconti's Ossessione or Malle's Elevator in the Gallows, "The Story of a Love Affair" is definitely worth checking out for fans of film noir or Antonioni.
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The Amazon editorial review and customer reviews wrongly state that a wealthy buiness man hires a detective because he suspects that his beautiful wife is unfaithful. In fact, he simply found some old photographs of his wife that were taken before they met and that made him think. They had a very brief courtship and married during the war. Now, seven years later, and after finding the photos, he realized that he really did not khow this woman and wanted to learn about her life before they met. Because she is so gorgeous, he probably suspected that she had lovers before him and wanted to know who they were and how serious the relationships were. Ironically, the investigation rekindled her relationship with a former lover resulting in a very interesting turn of events. To me, the fact that he merely wanted to know what kind of life she led before meeting him contributes strongly to the story line. Pay close to the first few minutes of this film and you will find nothing to suggest that her husband suspects her of being unfaithful. Great story, great cinematography, and great directing, all result in a great movie even though the acting was not top notch.
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More often than not we influence the cards we are dealt in life. Worst of all is when we do something that starts a chain of events that cause us misfortune. Story of a Love Affair is a classic Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni that is exactly about this subject.

When a wealthy businessman finds some old photographs of his wife Paola (Lucia Bose), he gets to wonder about her past. They have been married for seven years, since they met in 1943 during the war, but her history was always a mystery. Instead of asking her directly, he hires and investigator to look into what kind of woman she was before they met. He is partially motivated by curiosity, but mostly just jealousy.

And Paola's past certainly is mysterious. The story slowly unravels her past by the details the investigator uncovers by interviewing her former friends. The investigator's inquiries alert Paola's old boyfriend and actually brings him back into her life after all these years. Ironically, Paola's husband brings about trouble for himself with the investigator and helps his wife find the road to infidelity. We cannot help but see how much Paola must have changed in these seven years. She now lives the life of luxury and has no financial obstacles, while those she knew still struggle with daily living.

There are some subtle details that give this movie a deeper meaning weaved throughout the entire story, giving it a sophistication that will make this film appealing to those with fine taste. There is a strange balance of opposites in nearly everything that happens. When Guido reaches for Paola, she withdraws from him; when Paola reaches for Guido, he withdraws from her. Their love for each other always seems to be a beet or two off and they are never in synchrony.
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A decade before Michelangelo Antonioni would be known as "the Master of Alienation", before the Italian filmmaker would be known for his films such as "L'Avventura", "La Notte", "L'Eclisse" and "Red Desert", the Italian modernist director, who would be known for his radical style of not following any conventions of filmmaking, was a director of documentary films.

But after graduating from his years of being a documentary filmmaker, Every filmmaker has their beginning in making full feature films and for legendary filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, that film was "Story of a Love Affair" (1950, also known as "Cronaca di un amore").

The film was inspired by the real-life 1948 murder of a wealthy silk company owner, a man that Countess Pia Bellentani was having an eight-year affair with. Despite the Countess being married to a wealthy Milanese industrialist and having two children, the case shocked Italy at the time as someone of wealth and stature was convicted of murder and also because the murder took place at a high society party.

Bothered and intrigued by the Bellentani case, Michelangelo Antonioni would write and direct "Story of a Love Affair".

A film that is part romance film and the other half that is film noir, the film is definitely not your typical banal noir film. It's Italian noir at its finest!

It is important to note that while many Italians were working on Italian neorealist films, "Story of a Love Affair", the first film of Antonioni goes to show how he never followed traditional standard nor was he compliant of other filmmaking styles of what other filmmakers in Italy were doing at the time.


"Story of a Love Affair" is presented in 1:33 Full Frame, black and white.
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