Written by Stuart Kurtz
Italy, 1960. 168 min. Titanus. Cast: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Katina Paxinou; Music: Nino Rota; Cinematography: Giusseppe Rotunno; Produced by: Goffredo Lombardo; Written by: Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Vasco Pratolini; Directed by: Luchino Visconti
Coming out of the Neo-Realist tradition which he founded (Ossesione being the first, La Terra Trema, Senso), Visconti found a way to turn the inexorable defeat of characters in this form into heroic action that might help them out of poverty and despair. Neo-Realist heros traveled hopefully, but they were at one with the world and so at its mercy. The Valostra family in La Terra Trema might gird themselves for battle against the wholesalers and the sea, but their hope was not enough up against the social and climatic forces that inevitably win against the little person.