Wealthy steel-owning family begins in fighting when the National Socialists come to power and they either clamor to endear themselves to the new party or run away out of fear. Visconti's taste for the tacky (at least in this period of his career) and soap-opera elements are at work here - like Mandingo, he turns fascism into a kind of tawdry, eye-opening 'spectacle' (Lopate's remark) - but everyone in his cast is deplorable, and their eventual downfall is obvious and expected. People that want to see Nazi sympathizers portrayed as clean-freak pedophile cross-dressing homosexual Mother-raping murderers will feel right at home as their lives are ruined, one by one; for the best kind of ingenious flamboyance, I strongly recommend Death in Venice.
Director: Luchino Visconti
Year Released: 1969