Visconti’s neo-realist influences are combined with a dreamlike visual poetry in this poignant tale of longing and unrequited love. Wandering aimlessly in the city of Livorno, Mario (Marcello Mastroianni) meets Natalia (Maria Schell) and the two become entangled in each other’s loneliness.
Adapted from a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, this fascinating transitional work in Visconti’s career features a groundbreaking performance by Mastroianni that pre-empts his soulful, world-weary and highly influential roles for Fellini and Antonioni in the following decades. With Jean Marais.
35mm print courtesy of Cinecittà Luce.