Based on Italo Svevo’s great novel so admired by James Joyce, this atmospherically photographed film is set in old Trieste and centers on a middle-aged public official and his unrequited love for a flirtatious but unpossessable girl who blithely betrays him. The melancholy hero is played by Anthony Franciosa; Claudia Cardinale is the girl. The man’s sister (Betsy Blair) is a depressive also disappointed in love. Upon her death by her own hand our hero faces a life of continued solitude.
Bolognini’s misty evocation of perennial “tristezza” (sadness of spirit) and its equivalent in damp gloomy ambiance is the kind of thing he does so well. One only has to think of what he achieved in “La viaccia” and “Fatti di gente perbene”. This is one of his very best films and was only given a limited release in the U.S.A. under the title of “Careless”. Director of photography Armando Nannuzzi gave the “old postcard” look to the city.
Gerald A. DeLuca @VIMDb