Senso probably would have hit me more if I hadn't already watched Visconti's masterpiece, The Leopard. After that film, released nine years later, Senso feels like a dress rehearsal for the movie Visconti was born to make. This is unfair, not just because Visconti had other great films (Obsession and Rocco and His Brothers would make great additions to the collection, and I've yet to see his third entry, La Notte Bianchi) but because Senso is a spectacular, extremely entertaining period melodrama.
In terms of story, the film reminded me a great deal of The Earrings of Madame De... Both films have powerful independent women destroyed by extra-marital, all-consuming love. Both are also sumptuously filmed by directors that don't spend a lot of time worrying if someone is going to find their production "a little much." Like Ophüls, Visconti is a showman before anything and the costumes, set design, cinematography, and writing (by way of narration in particular) are extremely flashy, verging on over-the-top. The "twist" in the final act can be seen a mile away, but Senso isn't really about who's putting one over on whom. The countess's decision in the final moments remains satisfying, though.
As in Burt Lancaster did in The Leopard, Farley Granger speaks English in Senso and is dubbed into Italian - which is then translated back into English in the form of subtitles. While it would certainly be strange to have Granger speaking English while everyone else spoke Italian, it might be interesting to see, just as I am looking forward to watching The Leopard in English as a pure novelty.