Senilità (Careless). 1962. Italy. Directed by Mauro Bolognini. Screenplay by Bolognini, Goffredo Parise, Tullio Pinelli. With Claudia Cardinale, Anthony Franciosa. In Italian; English subtitles. 35mm print courtesy of Fondazione Mauro Bolognini. 111 min.
The Italian filmmaker Mauro Bolognini was known for his intense explorations of obsessive, doomed love affairs that usually involved impotent, desiccated men falling for voluptuous, vampiric women. In this adaptation of a 1898 novel by the Trieste-born, Jewish-Italian writer Italo Svevo—a novel that James Joyce admired and brought to public attention—Anthony Franciosa plays a worn-down intellectual, adrift in an atmospherically bleak Fascist Trieste of 1927, who blindly plunges into an affair with the seemingly virginal Claudia Cardinale, a devil disguised as a fun-loving flapper. Back home his sister, played by the sadly overlooked Betsy Blair (a victim of the Hollywood blacklist), is condemned to forever remain a spinster.