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Death of a Cyclist (1955)
"Muerte de un ciclista" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  27 August 1955 (Italy)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,737 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 25 critic

A couple having an affair strike a bicyclist with their car and do not offer aid out of fear of their relationship being exposed.

Director:

(as J.A. Bardem)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucia Bosé ...
María José de Castro (as Lucia Bose)
Alberto Closas ...
Juan Fernández Soler
Bruna Corrà ...
Matilde Luque Carvajal (as Bruna Corra)
Carlos Casaravilla ...
Rafael Sandoval dicho Rafa
Otello Toso ...
Miguel Castro
Alicia Romay ...
Carmina
Julia Delgado Caro ...
Doña Maria
Matilde Muñoz Sampedro ...
Vecina del ciclista muerto
Mercedes Albert ...
Cristina
José Sepúlveda ...
Comisario (as Jose Sepulveda)
José Prada ...
Decano (as Jose Prada)
Fernando Sancho ...
Sargento policía tráfico
Manuel Alexandre ...
Ciclista
Jacinto San Emeterio ...
Joaquín
Manuel Arbó ...
Padre Iturrioz (as Manuel Arbo)
Edit

Storyline

Juan is an academic, his career stalled, teaching at the university because of his brother-in-law's prestige. María José is a socialite, married to wealth, bored but attached to her comforts. The two are lovers. On an isolated country road, their car strikes a cyclist; fearing exposure, they leave him to die. Distracted, Juan unjustly fails a student. Rafa, a bitter savant in their social circle, hints that he knows something, and he threatens to expose them to María José's husband, Miguel. Miguel's pride may be the lovers' best hope. Then Juan proposes a solution. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1955 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Age of Infidelity  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 472,773 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship certificate register # 045590. See more »

Goofs

A cameraman's hand is visible in the back seat when Maria Jose is alone in the car towards the end. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Powerful examination of morality and an effective 'thriller'
3 October 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A mix of noir psychological thriller and political examination of class and privilege in Franco's Spain, this reminded me as much as anything of Antonioni's 'Story of a Love Affair', although I liked this even more. For me there were more thematic and emotional levels explored in more interesting ways.

The film is beautifully made with a striking use of transitions to keep us off base, and an alternating mix of neo-realist, and slick Hitchcockian camera work that evokes the separation of class in society.

The story is simple. A pair of upper-class lovers accidentally hit a cyclist on the highway, and leave him to die, for fear of being discovered as lovers and losing all they have in society and with each other.

The rest of the film is about both the moral questions of responsibility and ego versus a sense of communal responsibility, and the gut wracking tension as to whether the two will be discovered.

I was occasionally bothered by the heavy handedness of some of the film. Sometimes it was just a too on-the-nose politically ironic line, but particularly an important sub-plot about a student the male half of our anti-hero couple, has treated unfairly. This sub-plot, while beautifully shot and well acted, feels like it exists only to make political and thematic points, and pulled me out of identifying with the film on a human level. Likewise, a couple of crucial character twists, while interesting, feel forced or sudden -- more there to make a point then to honestly continue the narrative.

But these are small flaws compared to the film's great strengths, and it is very much worth seeing.


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