Senso (The Wanton Countess)
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Italian director Luchino Visconti dishes up his usual blend of elegance and decadence in Senso. The international cast includes French film star Alida Valli as a Italian countess married to a Venetian nobleman, and English leading man Farley Granger as an Austrian military officer. The two are swept up in the Austrian empire's evacuation of Italy in 1866. Valli and Granger fall in love, but Valli ultimately realizes that the officer is interested only in her wealth and prestige, whereupon she gives him over to a firing squad. Visconti had wanted Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando for his… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is an obvious, rudimentary operatic approach to amour and an illustration of history that is likely to be fuzzy to anyone but a student of Garibaldi's 1866 campaign in and around Venice and Verona."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"Lavishly styled historical drama, which opens with one of the most electrifying protest scenes in film history."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Senso isn't the subtlest picture and its writing is frequently cringe-worthy. But as a work of pure film artistry it's wonderful, especially in its less motivated sequences."
‑ Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
"For any student of cinematography, costume design or art direction, Senso is an invaluable source of inspiration."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Visconti counterposes romance and rebellion in this historical tale of love and betrayal."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A lush, melodramatic portrait of seduction and betrayal, decadence and deceit in the midst of Italy's resistance to Austrian occupation in the mid-19th century."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"a Technicolored visual feast in the grandest tradition of historical-epic melodrama"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"As a chronicle of doomed love, the story gains quite a bit of steam as it bulldozes towards its tragic ending."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Triumphs on the strength of [Alida Valli's] presence..you'd have to go very far to find a more luscious movie."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Visconti's lush period piece, shot in color, marks his transition from neo-realism to grand operatic spectacles."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The culmination of Visconti's work, the perfect collision of style, themes and look, and perhaps his greatest film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"... this lush, lavish melodrama of a self-destructive love affair set against the idealistic passions of the Risorgimento is the very definition of cinematic."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"Translates as sumptuous, hollow, overlong and dull."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Senso (The Wanton Countess) on Rotten Tomatoes