Toth Database - Cinema



Year: 1943

Duration: 135 min

Color: B/N

Genre: Dramatic

Director: Luchino Visconti

Producer: Italian Film Industries

Photograph: Aldo Tonti and Domenico Scala

Editing by Mario Serandrei

Music: Giuseppe Rosati

Set design: Gino Franzi


Performers and characters


Clara Calamai as Giovanna Bragana

Massimo Girotti as Gino Costa

Dhia Ceristina as Anita

Elio Marcuzzo as The Spaniard

Vittorio Duse as The Police Officer

Michele Riccardini as Don Remigio

Juan De Landa as Giuseppe Bragana

Michele Sakara as The Child Plot



The vagabond Gino Costa stops at a refreshment for travelers in the lower Padana, becoming the lovers of Giovanna, wife of the unsuspecting Giuseppe, owner of the restaurant. Gino can't stand this situation and proposes to the woman to run away with him. Giovanna refuses and he leaves for Ancora, and hopes to embark and leave behind the story just ended. During the trip to Ancona he befriends a wandering club called the Spanish. Gino no longer embarks, but finds work with his new friend at the May Fair; a new life seems to have begun. During the days of the fair, Gino met Giovanna and her husband, who had come to Ancona to participate in a singing competition. The two former lovers immediately re-establish their bond and decide to kill Giuseppe through the simulation of a car accident. They put their plan in place soon, but the incident is suspicious of the police.

After the crime the story between the two lovers becomes tense: Giovanna collects the insurance on her husband's life and reopens the trattoria together with Gino. Gino crushed by remorse and disappointed by the life he feels stolen, leaves her and goes to Ferrara where he befriends Anita, a sweet and understanding prostitute.

She then sees Joan again, who tells him that she is pregnant; the two lovers then try to escape, but the car ends up off the road, Giovanna dies and Gino, is arrested by the police.


Even before the start of processing. Visconti encounters the first difficulties: the director in fact planned to adapt for the screen a novel by Verga, but permission is denied by the fascist authorities. Working in France with Jean Renoir, Visconti has the opportunity to read a translation French de il postino always plays twice by the American James M.Cain (1934) and perhaps to see a film that freely inspired this novel:


Le dernier tournant by Pierre Chènal (1939), never released in Italy.


Back in his country (1939) Visconti wrote an adaptation of the book together with a group of intellectuals who collaborated with the Milanese magazine Cinema. The italian political situation and the ongoing war do not allow Visconti to obtain the rights to Cain's work, which is therefore not mentioned in the film's titles (the lack of rights to the novel prevented its release in the United States until 1976); Meanwhile in Hollywood Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has already planned to draw the "official" version from the same novel, the postman always plays twice, directed by Tay Garnett. The authorities realize that the film does not attack the fascist regime, authorizes its distribution. The film remains in cinemas for two or three evenings, before being taken out of circulation following the scandalized reactions of the fascist authority and the Church.