7.3/10
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6 user 3 critic

Strange Deception (1951)

Il Cristo proibito (original title)
Back in his village, former war prisoner Bruno Baldi is dead set on avenging his brother who has been shot by a German firing squad after being given away by a villager. But nobody wants to... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Bruno Baldi
Rina Morelli ...
Mother Baldi
Alain Cuny ...
Antonio
Anna Maria Ferrero ...
Maria
Elena Varzi ...
Nella
...
The Sexton
Ernesta Rosmino ...
Assunta
Philippe Lemaire ...
Pinin
Luigi Tosi ...
Andrea
Gualtiero Tumiati ...
Bruno's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lianella Carell
Giulia Sabatini ...
Bit part
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Storyline

Back in his village, former war prisoner Bruno Baldi is dead set on avenging his brother who has been shot by a German firing squad after being given away by a villager. But nobody wants to give him the name of the culprit. At long last, Antonio, a joiner, reveals the informer but this comes at a cost. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Man of Vengeance...and Woman of Shame!

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | War

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

3 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Deception  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #9499 dated 10 March 1951. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Only Tears May Cleanse Blood
6 November 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

After the World War II, the former POW in Russia Bruno Baldi (Raf Vallone) returns to his village in Toscana with the local Andrea (Luigi Tosi) with the intention of revenging his brother Giulio that was betrayed by a villager and shot by a German firing squad. However neither his parents nor his friends reveal the name of the culprit to avoid another bloodbath in their village. During a religious party, the joiner and best friend Antonio (Alain Cuny) discloses to Bruno that he had killed a man twenty years ago in America and he has had trouble to live with that feeling for the rest of his life. Further, he also tells that he had betrayed his brother and was responsible for his death. Bruno throws his knife in the heart of Antonio; before dying, Antonio asks how Bruno could have believed that he could betray his brother and he confesses that he lied to protect the culprit. When the devastated Bruno arrives home with a stain of blood in his shirt, his mother asks if he had killed so-and-so, and tells that only tears may cleanse blood from his hands. Now Bruno seeks out the real culprit for the death of his brother.

"Il Cristo Proibito" is an unknown Italian anti-war masterpiece by director Curzio Malaparte. It is impressive how this fantastic film has only 44 votes in IMDb, indicating that a few worldwide viewers have had the chance to watch it. I have never read or heard anything about director Curzio Malaparte, and I have just read in IMDb that he made only this film. The heartbreaking and credible story of justice, revenge and rue shows the effects of the war in the poor population and the situation of Antonio slightly recalls "Crime and Punishment"; further, the story also gives a message pro-socialism in a religious environment. The cinematography in black and white is awesome, with the use of shadows and magnificent camera angles. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Cristo Proibido" ("The Forbidden Christ")


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