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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 10 January 1976 (Italy)
Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

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(screenplay),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Giorgio Cataldi ...
The Bishop
Umberto Paolo Quintavalle ...
The Magistrate (as Umberto P. Quintavalle)
Aldo Valletti ...
The President
...
Signora Castelli
...
Signora Maggi
Hélène Surgère ...
Signora Vaccari (as Helene Surgere)
Sonia Saviange ...
The Pianist
Sergio Fascetti ...
Male Victim
Bruno Musso ...
Carlo Porro - Male Victim
Antonio Orlando ...
Tonino - Male Victim
Claudio Cicchetti ...
Male Victim
...
Male Victim
Umberto Chessari ...
Male Victim
Lamberto Book ...
Lamberto Gobbi - Male Victim
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Storyline

Set in the Nazi-controlled, northern Italian state of Salo in 1944, four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and take them together with guards, servants and studs to a palace near Marzabotto. In addition, there are four middle-aged women: three of whom recount arousing stories whilst the fourth accompanies on the piano. The story is largely taken up with their recounting the stories of Dante and De Sade: the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. Following this, the youths are executed whilst each libertine takes his turn as voyeur. Written by <andrewm@kbss.bt.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Banned in Australia for 17 years - Now for the first time Australian audiences have the opportunity to judge one of the most controversial films in the history of cinema. A work of rigorous moral intelligence or a descent into a nightmare of cruelty and lust? (1993) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

10 January 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of actor David Cross' favorite movies See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film a 1948 Fiat 500 B can be seen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[four men, sitting at a table, each sign a booklet]
The Duke: Your Excellency.
The Magistrate: Mr. President.
The President: My lord.
The Bishop: All's good if it's excessive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Essential Bibliography: Roland Barthes: 'Sade, Fourier, Loyola' (Editions du Seuil); Maurice Blanchot: "Lautréamont et Sade' (Editions de Minuit; in Italy Dedalo Libri); Simone de Beauvoir: 'Faut-il brûler Sade' (Editions Gaimard); Pierre Klossowski: 'Sade mon prochain, le philosophe scélérat' (Editions du Seuil; in Italy SugarCo Edizioni); Philippe Sollers: 'L'écriture et l'experience des limites' (Editions du Seuil) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Son tanto triste
(uncredited)
Composed by Franco Ansaldo and Alfredo Bracchi
Conducted by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the roughest films you'll ever see.
6 June 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom" (1975): Be prepared for one of the roughest films you'll ever see. This was Pasolini's last, and going by what I've seen, his vision only became bleaker and more disturbed as the years clawed along. Using the Marquis de Sade's ideas on the decadence of 18th century France, Pasolini represents Fascist Italy (1944-45). We are shown the upper class – always removed and protected from the outer world – as predators of the poor, weak, young, and less educated. A group of wealthy adults shop amongst the kidnapped older children of bourgeoisie. They choose eighteen, and steal them away to a hidden mansion, where there is no escape. There, the adults live out every twisted fantasy they've ever had or can now muster, while demeaning, raping, and torturing the youngsters. The teens react in many ways, none of which are "pretty". This entire film experience MUST be viewed as a symbolic, emotional "explanation" of what it was like to live under Nazi/Fascist rule (in this case), and how an otherwise normal, decent society could be turned into lunatics and sub-animals. Although made 30 years ago (with the usual weaker production qualities of that era), I cannot think of another work which so blatantly and painfully illustrates what those in power are capable of doing when boredom gives rein to impulse. In comparison, "Lord of the Flies" barely lights upon these issues, "Pink Flamingos" was but a tiny, kitschy springboard, and "Schindler's List" described a much narrower range of degradation. To this day, "Salo: …" is banned in some countries. This is NOT a film about acting, lighting, sound, camera work, etc.. This is a film about states of mind – theirs then, ours now. P.S.: If you are interested in set design, this one is FILLED with original Cubist/Bauhaus/Futurist/Moderne furnishings, murals, and art. Spectacular. Those styles were not yet being reproduced, so Pasolini used the real thing. There is also an interesting use of a Charles Rennie MacIntosh chair…which will alter how you see this design from here on out.


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Why do people like this film? desertgaara1995
Has anyone read De Sade's 120 Days of Sodom? Ser_Pounce_Is_My_Homeboy
Where can I legally watch this? Ser_Pounce_Is_My_Homeboy
Don't call these films 'art' go-lobo
Who else thinks the scriptwriter /director lost his mind? axelpuri
love / hate a-tammuzkhah
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