By the Book
Directed by Luchino Visconti • 1954 • Italy
Starring Alida Valli, Farley Granger
This lush, Technicolor tragic romance from Luchino Visconti stars Alida Valli as a nineteenth-century Italian countess who, during the Austrian occupation of her country, puts her marriage and political principles on the line by engaging in a torrid affair with a dashing Austrian lieutenant, played by Farley Granger. Gilded with ornate costumes and sets and a rich classical soundtrack, and featuring fearless performances, this operatic melodrama is an extraordinary evocation of reckless emotions and deranged lust, from one of the cinema’s great sensualists.
Restored by StudioCanal, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, and the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funding provided by Gucci, The Film Foundation, and Comitato Italia 150.
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