I've seen several movies by director Luchino Visconti and although the art in those movies are excellent, mostly they are, for me, very slow. So far only Rocco and His Brothers which I thought very captivating - for it's very dramatic. Now I have added L'innocente to this list. L'innocente is the last movie by Visconti, and he had died before the premiere.
L'innocente tells about rich aristocrat Tullio Hermil (played wonderfully by Giancarlo Giannini), who has an affair with widow Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O'Neill). This affair is publicly known, and his wife Giuliana (Laura Antonelli) can only accept it. Tullio can even discuss his mistress with his wife and tell her to stay silent in order to avoid further scandal. In her loneliness, she cannot resist the charm of writer Filippo d'Arborio (Marc Porel), who is brought to the house by Tullio's brother. Tullio is suspicious that his wife has an affair and he tries to win her back. The day after their reunion as husband and wife, Tullio learns that Giuliana is 2 months pregnant. He knows he is not the father. He contacts his brother so he can meet Filippo, but his brother tells him that Filippo is gravely ill.
Tullio himself has an affair, but he cannot accept if his wife is infidel. He perhaps can forgive her if she doesn't carry a souvenir from her affair. Tullio tries to kill the baby before it is born. To protect the baby, Giuliana pretends that she also hates the baby - and this proves to be fatal, because it gives Tullio encouragement to murder the baby, the innocent. Tullio can never win Giuliana back for his two rivals are dead.
Teresa is also not faithful to Tullio. She has another suitor, to whom she often makes promises. Tullio is not faithful, yet he demands his wife and his mistress to be faithful to him.