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The Grim Reaper (1962)

La commare secca (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 May 1982 (USA)
Near the Tiber river, in a Roman park, a prostitute was killed. The police tracks down people that were inside the park during that night. They are questioned and have to explain why they ... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Francesco Ruiu ...
Canticchia
Giancarlo De Rosa ...
Nino
Vincenzo Ciccora ...
Mayor
Alfredo Leggi ...
Bostelli
Gabriella Giorgelli ...
Esperia
Santina Lisio ...
Esperia's mother
Carlotta Barilli ...
Serenella
Ada Peragostini ...
Maria
Clorinda Celani ...
Soraya
Allen Midgette ...
Teodoro, the soldier
Renato Troiani ...
Natalino
Wanda Rocci ...
Prostitute
Marisa Solinas ...
Bruna
Alvaro D'Ercole ...
Francolicchio
Romano Labate ...
Pipito
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Storyline

Near the Tiber river, in a Roman park, a prostitute was killed. The police tracks down people that were inside the park during that night. They are questioned and have to explain why they were there. One of them is the killer. Written by Chris Abbenhuis <keller@telebyte.nl>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 May 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte  »

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Referenced in An Opera of Violence (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slices of life as evidence accumulates on the murder of a prostitute
8 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"La commara secca" is the remarkable debut film of Bernardo Bertolucci directing in a story by Pasolini. The story begins with the death of a prostitute, a murder. The police, whom we never see, are interviewing various people who were in a nearby park. Each tells his own story of how they spent their day. We see their deceits to the police and the realities of their lives. These are people with relatively little money, sometimes hungry, stealing, looking for sex, relaxing, hanging out, dating harassing women on the street, yelling and intimidating, dancing, singing, street walking, and once in a while killing. It is a picture of people on the margins in lower classes who, for one reason and another, are scrounging, not bag people but having to hustle.

The story proceeds in episodes, tied together by a rain shower that occurred in the late afternoon and at the park at night. This much of the movie shows a heavy neorealist influence, handled well enough but with some strident overacting at times. There is something also of a noir influence in tying the story together with a murder mystery and showing the prostitute as she prepares to go out that night and the events in the dark park.

The mystery is compelling. The way that we see the events build up from the evidence of the different participants who intersect is compelling too. The emotional heart of the picture is in a number of very human scenes of life, the activities of the people that day that are unrelated to the murder mystery, and finally in the depiction of the murder itself. The depiction of poverty is compelling.

At another level, there is some great camera movement, some creative shots and wonderful outdoor photography throughout. There is a sequence inside the Coliseum that makes excellent use of its odd places.

It is really great in this day and age to be able to see a film like this, one that has been preserved for the ages.


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