Based on a novel by Gabriele d'Annunzio, The Innocent (L'Innocente) is set amongst the aristocracy of 19th-century Italy. Wealthy Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini) thinks nothing of squiring his mistress (Jennifer O'Neill) in full view of his friends and the public.
But when Giannini's cast-off wife (Laura Antonelli) begins an affair with a young novelist (based, it is said, on author d'Annunzio), it is too much for the philandering aristocrat. Outside of Erich von Stroheim, few directors were as masterful at combining lavishness with depravity as Luchino Visconti.
The Innocent turned out to be Visconti's last film; he died in 1976, shortly before the picture's premiere.