1943, TSPDT Rank #764
This rough and compelling debut film from great Italian director Luchino Visconti, an uncredited adaptation of the James M. Cain novel, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", could hardly be farther removed from its Hollywood counterpart (which came three years later, directed by Tay Garnett, and starring Lana Turner and John Garfield). The Hollywood version of "Postman" was made under the strict supervision of the Breen Office, but nevertheless remains one of the most erotically charged and suspenseful films of all time. Visconti's adaptation, on the other hand, dispenses with eroticism and suspense in exchange for raw, earthy sexuality and the suggestion of brutal violence. In doing so, the focus remains on the motivations behind a murder, as well as the inevitable events which come before and after - but in a style which has much more to do with neorealism than film noir.