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The Driver's Seat (1974)

Identikit (original title)
R | | Drama | 10 October 1975 (USA)
Mentally disturbed spinster Lise experiences a series of bizarre encounters in Rome as she searches for someone to murder her.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Guido Mannari ...
Mona Washbourne ...
Mrs. Helen Fiedke
Luigi Squarzina ...
Lead Detective
Maxence Mailfort ...
English Lord
Anita Bartolucci ...
Gino Giuseppe ...
Police Commissioner (as Gino Giuseppe C.S.C.)
Marino Masé ...
Traffic Policeman
Bedy Moratti ...
Dress Shop Owner
Dino Mele ...
Police Captain
Alessandro Perrella ...
Detective (as Alessandro Perrella C.S.C.)
Quinto Parmeggiani ...
Hotel Waiter
Nadia Scarpitta ...
Elderly Lady at airport (as Nadia Scarpitta Pernice)


Lise, a mentally unbalanced middle-aged woman travels toward a fatal destiny that she had helped to arrange, as if her own extinction will bring a meaningful existence to its wished-for end - a premeditated search for someone, anyone, with whom she could form a dangerous liaison. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Was she really mad enough to plot her own murder?





Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Driver's Seat  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Luchino Visconti had wanted to film this in 1970 with Glenda Jackson in the lead. See more »


Bill: I'm staying at the Metropole. I'll book you a room there next to mine. The company will pay for it because I have to have an orgasm a day on my macrobiotic diet, you see?
Lise: I am an idealist
Bill: Oh, I only meant that, er, if we get acquainted, I think somehow that I'm your type, you know?
Lise: Do you think so?
[he nods]
Lise: Well you're mistaken. When I diet, I diet. And when I orgasm, I orgasm. I don't believe in mixing the two cultures.
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Referenced in Rate It X (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Underground cult classic
21 November 2006 | by (Deutschland) – See all my reviews

This strange little film has a small but devoted cult following, due to it's haunting atmosphere, obscure storyline, and a hypnotic performance by the Great Elizabeth Taylor. She stars as Lise, a spinster who makes a decision to go on a holiday, a trip that will be her last, to Rome. Dressed in a psychedelic outfit made up of every color in the rainbow, she is a peacock, using colors to attract a certain man. A man that will fulfill her darkest wish. The viewer must wait until the end of the film to find out just exactly what the crazed Lise is looking for. The ending is pretty gruesome, and not expected. But before we get there, Taylor, as Lise, gives us a guided tour of a very different looking Rome, as well as a tour of her own warped and desperate psyche. This film is what art-house cinema is all about. As far away from Hollywood as you can hope to get, there has never been a film quite like this one. Taylor exudes such an intense feeling of loneliness here, so much so, that some will find this to be a somewhat depressing film experience. But this is not a 'feel-good' film, although it is filled with some truly hilarious one-liners that you might find yourself repeating with friends who you watch this with. Some critics call this Taylors worst film, but that is utterly preposterous. It doesn't have the glossy, expensive look of her earlier Hollywood films, but then again this is a much darker and more serious film than say, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof". Also she isn't as young and beautiful here, but if she were than the tale would not be so sad, and the desperation of this woman would make no sense. 'Identikit' is filled with familiar actors, all in totally memorable performances. Ian Bannon is hilarious as one of Lise's companions. Guido Mannari, a familiar presence in countless Italian exploitation movies is cast here as a lecherous mechanic who attempts to rape Taylor in a car. His performance is over-the-top sleazy. And veteran actress Mona Washbourne is priceless as the impromptu shopping companion of Lise, forever looking for the perfect gift for her nephew. Strangely, the shopping center sequence with Washbourne and Taylor, is one of my favorite scenes in all cinema. I don't know why, but I never get tired of listening to the strange conversation between the two eccentric characters as they wander around that modern-looking Rome shopping mall. And it is fitting that Andy Warhol has a cameo here, as both this film, and Warhol, are bizarre entities indeed. Also worth mentioning is the dark, moody background music, which compliments the feeling of the film perfectly. 'Identikit' is not for people who enjoy mainstream cinema. If 'Pretty Woman' is your idea of a good film, then you will most likely find this dark, murky film deplorable. But for fans of the precisely weird, i recommend this little-known gem. It is available as a 'cheapo' DVD. I paid around $5 dollars for it. Don't expect anamorphic widescreen here. In fact this looks like it was copied directly from a video tape. But for this film, it is somehow fitting. And I am grateful, and surprised that it is available at all. And incidentally... Do you have a gun?? Because if you did, you could shoot me...

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