This is a very fine drama from Pietro Germi who is better known for his later comedies. It starts as a low-key family story eventually involving (reluctant) adultery on the husband's part. When he tries to break it off his lover won't accept that it's over, but rather than turning into Fatal Attraction it reaches a tragic conclusion that, in the best Italian tradition, acknowledges the messiness of life without blaming anyone. It also avoids the trap of reducing a woman's death to a vehicle for the protagonist's character development (as in The Hustler) - nobody learns any life lessons, just the irreversible consequences of a wrong decision.
What is really extraordinary about the movie - something I don't recall seeing anywhere else - is the switch of narrators at the very end. The husband's voice-over has been telling the story throughout, until in the last scene the wife's voice takes over and gives her perspective on the outcome. I'm not sure if this is aesthetically "correct" but it seems to me a brilliant reversal of the usual privileging of the male point of view. Sometimes the rules just need to be broken.
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