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Oedipus Rex (1967)

Edipo re (original title)
| Drama | 1968 (France)
In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Merope
Carmelo Bene ...
...
Luciano Bartoli ...
Francesco Leonetti ...
servo di Laio
Ahmed Belhachmi ...
Polibo
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ...
Sacerdote (as Ivan Scratuglia)
Giandomenico Davoli ...
pastore di Polibo
...
Angelo
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Storyline

In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is rescued, given the name Edipo (Oedipus), and brought up by the King and Queen of Corinth as their son. One day an oracle informs Edipo that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. Horrified, he flees Corinth and his supposed parents - only to get into a fight and kill an older man on the road... Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

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Drama

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Release Date:

1968 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Oedipus Rex  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First part of Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Mythical Cycle" also including Teorema (1968), Porcile (1969) and Medea (1969). See more »

Connections

Featured in Fi intidar Pasolini (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Film as Art
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is possibly the most brilliant - color - film AS ART that I I have ever seen. It combines beautiful and fascinating poetic color visuals, unusual landscapes and locations with the classic story of Oedipus.

The story is told with very little dialog, (subtitles for the dialog where present) and this enhances the internal, primal feeling of the piece. Pasolini was often compared to Fellini, but I feel he is much better, because he uses his visuals always to advance and to the purpose of the story. To me Fellini's visuals were often purposeless antic oddity. Here, any ambiguity is not in the story, but in character motivation, which lends modern reality and immediacy to the whole.

The acting style combines the classic Greek use of stylized mannerisms and mask work seamlessly with smaller modern film acting. The setting transitions from 1960s Italy to a primitive/tribal landscape which lends itself beautifully to the timeless/ancient feeling of the Greek story. An example of detail: tribal body painting is used to represent both a ritual queen in shades of Elizabeth R, to the whiteness of a plague death; the costume designs are a combination of rustic and Egyptian/Papal religious.

Cast mainly with little known actors, the big name actor in this film was international star Alida Valli, who has only two or three brief scenes. Her talent is fairly wasted here, but her presence is riveting as the aging, childless queen. (Valli: A brilliant Italian actress who had a brief career here in the 40s-50s, then returned to Italy/Europe, and balanced her commercial work in slashers with more oddball artistically challenging work. Her work often embodies "excess within control," the dichotomy of superficial clam with seething internal emotion. PARADINE CASE, THE THIRD MAN, THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS, CASSANDRA CROSSING, EYES WITHOUT A FACE, SENSO, WALK SOFTLY STRANGER.) This film is the kind of work I would hope to be a part of as an actress and artist. This film could easily be in theatres today and be even more appreciated now than it was at the time of its making.

Theatrically literate, visually stunning, gutsy, and intelligent. Enjoy!


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