Passion of Love

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Passion of Love
Passion damour sm.jpg
French film poster
Directed byEttore Scola
Screenplay byRuggero Maccari
Ettore Scola
Based onFosca
by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti
Produced byFranco Committeri
StarringBernard Giraudeau
CinematographyClaudio Ragona
Edited byRaimondo Crociani
Music byArmando Trovajoli
Release date
  • 7 May 1981 (1981-05-07)
Running time
117 minutes

Passion of Love (Italian: Passione d'amore) is a 1981 Italian drama film directed by Ettore Scola and was adapted from the 1869 novel Fosca by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti. The film was entered into the 1981 Cannes Film Festival[1] and served as the inspiration for the 1994 Broadway musical Passion by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.


In Turin in the winter of 1862, the unmarried Giorgio Bacchetti, a good-looking cavalry captain with a distinguished combat record, is involved in a passionate affair with Clara, a sweet and beautiful married woman. Their meetings end when he is transferred to an isolated outpost on the frontier.

The officers there eat and socialise in the house of their colonel, who has given a home to a handicapped cousin of his. This is a young woman named Fosca, suffering not only from a range of physical and psychological problems but also strikingly ugly. Yet she is also sensitive and cultured, and desperate for sympathetic male company. Encouraged by the regimental surgeon, who thinks contact with the new arrival may help, Giorgio spends time with her.

While she thrives on what to her is a conquest, Giorgio is dragged down by the emotional strain of her demands on him and falls ill. The surgeon realises that his plan was a mistake and that the only solution is to get Giorgio a transfer. The transfer notice is delivered during the Christmas party in the colonel's house. Fosca goes into massive hysterics, to the horror of the guests who had no idea of the existence and depth of her passion.

The colonel, considering his honour impugned by this relationship, which Giorgio entered into out of kindness and pity, challenges Giorgio to a duel next morning. That night, knowing it may be his last and desperately sorry for Fosca, he goes to her bedroom and they consummate their strange love. In the duel, he wounds the colonel but himself collapses under the nervous strain. Fosca dies of shock, and Giorgio is invalided out of the army with no prospects.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Passion of Love". Retrieved 2 June 2009.

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