The Grim Reaper View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

Produced: 1962

Countries & Regions: Italy

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Studio: Mr Bongo Records

Length: 100 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 25 April 2011

Cat No: MRBDVD039

Extras:
Languages(s): Italian
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access

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The Grim Reaper

Cast: Francesco Rula , Giancarlo De Rosa , Marisa Solinas , Vincenzo Ciccora , Romano Labate

DVD
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Bernardo Bertolucci’s debut feature film examines the dark underbelly of life on Poverty Row to create a complex tapestry of human... Read More

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Bernardo Bertolucci’s debut feature film examines the dark underbelly of life on Poverty Row to create a complex tapestry of human behaviour. It follows the story of a police investigation into the murder of a prostitute in Rome Park. Each suspect’s alibi is seen from the individual’s perspective.

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.

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