Part of The 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list
Rocco and His Brothers aka Rocco e i suoi fratelli
dir. Luchino Visconti scr. Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, and Enrico Mediola based on the novel Il ponte della Ghisolfa by Giovanni Testori cin. Giuseppe Rotunno with Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori
Annie Girardot, Katina Paxinou, Spiros Focás, Max Cartier, and Rocco Vidolazzi
In 100 words: Visconti’s masterpiece has the sweep and the social critique of great literature with the emotions and grandeur of opera. Few films can match its silvery pearlescent images, impeccable narrative structure or its rich luscious score. The actors richly tapped into a convincing portrait of a tightly bonded family making compromises and questionable choices. The story is an astonishing take on the moral, spiritual, and effects of capitalism to family structures in post-war Italy. The film also breaks down masculinity in ways that are shockingly grotesque and enraging. Epic, daring, and perfect in so many ways, down to the music. Delon!
Other Movies for Context: Ah Visconti, my favorite lover of excess emotions. I love Senso (1954), his vibrant use of colors are expressive but his characters are all so emotional and love showing them. The Leopard (1963) is often called his best, but I find this one a bit too pompous and a little less discerning.