SENSO
1954, Rialto Pictures, 123 min, Italy, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Against the backdrop of the Italian-Austrian war of unification, troubled Countess Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) betrays her country for the love of an Austrian rogue, Franz Mahler (Farley Granger). As her resources dwindle, Livia comes to realize that their love might not be as pure as she thought. "A passionate and melodramatic romance, with doomed lovers, posturing soldiers, secret meetings at midnight, bold adultery and dramatic deaths. ... SENSO is lush, broadly emotional and beautifully photographed." - Roger Ebert.


SIDE STREET
1949, Warner Bros., 93 min, Dir: Anthony Mann

Naive postman Joe Norson (Farley Granger) takes a dangerous shortcut to securing a nest egg for his pregnant wife (Cathy O’Donnell) - stealing thirty grand from the office of a shady shyster. When Joe tries to give himself up he only gets in deeper, careening for his life through the treacherous streets of Manhattan, pursued by cops and crooks at every deadly turn. Boehm’s script is a much more noir version of Naked City, and Anthony Mann pulls out all the stops, directing this headlong thriller with incredible punch, abetted by Joe Ruttenberg’s stunning cinematography (with an opening sequence shot from a blimp over Manhattan). A top-tier noir, featuring favorites Jean Hagen, Paul Kelly, James Craig and Charles McGraw.


ROPE
1948, Universal, 80 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

This startling Alfred Hitchcock film was doubly daring for 1948: First, it risked depicting the Leopold & Loeb-like tale of homosexual lovers committing murder solely for the thrill. If that wasn’t enough, it told the tale in a series of long, 10-minute takes, unlike anything any director had previously attempted. Having passed over the heads of most audiences when originally released, the film is a revelation by today’s standards. With James Stewart, Farley Granger and John Dall (GUN CRAZY).


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