Ossessione (1943)

Ossessione (1943)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Memorable adaptation of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice to the milieu of early-1940s Italy. A drifter becomes involved with the wife of a small-town innkeeper, and the two decide to murder her husband. Italian neo-realist filmmaking originates with this harsh, powerful drama, the first film by director Luchino Visconti.
Art House & International , Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Industrie Cinematografiche Italiane


Massimo Girotti
as Gino Costa
Clara Calamai
as Giovanna Bragana
Juan de Landa
as Giuseppe Bragana
Elia Marcuzzo
as The Spaniard
Vittorio Duse
as The Lorry Driver
Michele Riccardini
as Don Remigio
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Critic Reviews for Ossessione

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Ossessione, which also began the late Mr. Visconti's remarkable film career, may be slow-going to the uninitiated, but its historical importance is not to be denied.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The film holds up well today, both as a murder story and as a slice-of-life.

December 12, 2002
AV Club
Top Critic

Luchino Visconti's first solo effort and the first great Italian neorealist film.

Full Review… | December 10, 2002
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The hardboiled appetites of The Postman Always Rings Twice brushing against European anguish

Full Review… | April 7, 2014

In something beyond drama and melodrama, diluted American mythos makes for Euro cine refined.

Full Review… | February 13, 2009

Immerses the story in the reality of life in an Italian village, using simplicity and poverty as driving forces.

Full Review… | September 27, 2004
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Ossessione


Visconti's directoral debut is a cinematic milestone both in noir and neo-realism. Brilliant adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice, depicting the descent of two lonely souls into lust, avarice, and desperation. The use of light and shadow emphasize the character development. The finale is one of the most ironic scenes in film history (omitted from the american versions).

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


Massimo Girotti is the handsome young drifter who falls for the beautiful wife (Clara Calamai) of a roadside restauranteur. Through a progression of lust, adultery, envy and obsession we witness the spiraling decline of morality and the untimely death of one unsuspecting husband. Viewed with an 'American eye', Ossessione seems a bit long-winded and meandering but Visconti's telling is nothing short of remarkable. The director's command of light and camera angles enables him to set a dark mood that is as much a tangible presence as any of the film's characters. A tragic tale masterfully told.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Wow, made in Italy in 1943, smack in the middle of WWII - this movie is fiendishly great - sucks you right in. Also, was this Massimo Girotti fellow ever on a Smiths cover? Cuz he freakin should have been. Great exterior street scene shots - w/ wonderful fluid camera movement.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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