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The Grim Reaper DVD

Bernardo Bertolucci, 1962


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Film Details

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

Produced in 1962

Main Language - Italian with English subtitles

Countries & Regions - European Film, Italian Film


Francesco Rula, Giancarlo De Rosa, Marisa Solinas


Classic Drama MoviesClassic Mystery MoviesEuropean FilmItalian FilmCrime - DramaCrime - MysteryCrime - Detective

MovieMail's Review

Nick Riddle sees an auspicious beginning in Bertolucci's multi-viewpoint film that follows the police's investigation into a murder. Based on a story by Pasolini.

Bertolucci was only 21 when he directed this, his feature debut, based on a story by his friend, Pier Paolo Pasolini.

After a prostitute is murdered in a park in Rome, the police round up and question a series of men who were seen in the area that night: an inept thief, a pair of gauche teenagers, a guileless soldier on leave, an itinerant roughneck. Each one recounts their movements with varying degrees of truthfulness.

It’s hard not to imagine that Kurosawa’s Rashomon was an influence on the multi-viewpoint structure, and Pasolini’s stamp is clearly visible in the use of non-professional actors and the general milieu of nocturnal ne’er-do-wells.

But you can see Bertolucci feeling his way towards his own style, with tracking shots and montage sequences that keep us just a little off balance. There’s also an air of playfulness that owes something to the French Nouvelle Vague, and a very Italian tendency for the camera to dwell lovingly on faces. All in all, an auspicious beginning for a future master.

Nick Riddle on 25th March 2011
Author of 77 reviews

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Film Description

Bernardo Bertolucci's brilliant debut feature, The Grim Reaper examines the dark underbelly of life in Rome. It follows the story of a police investigation into the murder of a prostitute in a Rome Park. While offscreen detectives interrogate a variety of male suspects, the events depicted on screen display their alibis from each individual perspective.

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Mr Bongo

Length: 100 mins

Format: DVD B&W

Region: 2

Released: 25th April 2011

Cat No: MRBDVD039

Subtitles: English

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