6.0/10
40,670
385 user 169 critic

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.

Writers:

(screenplay),
Reviews
Popularity
966 ( 36)
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Srpski film (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

An aging porn star agrees to participate in an "art film" in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.

Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Stars: Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.

Director: Ruggero Deodato
Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen
Teorema (1968)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A strange visitor in a wealthy family. He seduces the maid, the son, the mother, the daughter and finally the father before leaving a few days after. After he's gone, none of them can ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli
Irreversible (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of Mid-West Asia, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Franco Merli
Accattone (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A pimp with no other means to provide for himself finds his life spiraling out of control when his prostitute is sent to prison.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini
The Decameron (1971)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic
Antichrist (2009)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini
I Stand Alone (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain
Medea (1969)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

To win the kingdom his uncle took from his father, Jason must steal the golden fleece from the land of barbarians, where Medea is royalty and a powerful sorceress, where human sacrifice ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Maria Callas, Massimo Girotti, Laurent Terzieff
Edit

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
Edit

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:

A disturbing motion picture for mature audiences who are prepared to view it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "excrement" in the coprophagia scenes was a mixture of chocolate and orange marmalade, made disgusting by being excessively sweet and added with some other clashing ingredients. The disgusted reactions were real. 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

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Hardgore (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in E minor
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Film of Rage and Sadness
29 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Salo, the final film by Pasolini, is far and away the most affecting film I've ever seen of it's type. The images that it shows will stay with every viewer forever, they are unforgettable. Yet, you will wish you could forget them.

The film is about a group of rich Fascists during WWII-Nazi Occupied Italy, where they kidnap a group of 18 youngsters, allowing only physically perfect specimins to stay, and subject them to various forms of mental, physical and sexual torture over the next 120 Days. The torture starts off in a sexual nature--Sodomy, rape, humiliation and so on-- and slowly degrades and descends into mental and physical torture. Just when you think what you are seeing can't get worse, it does, ten-fold.

What makes Salo so brutally shocking and disturbing is its uncompromised and blunt way of showing the acts of horror. It is a very quiet and slow film, mostly shot using static and still cameras, it feels more like a documentary than a fictional film. It's clear upon viewing, that Pasolini wanted to remind us all that violence should not be entertainment. As such, every act of violence and degredation is drained of all its possible energy and excitement, and shown in a sad, painful light. Nothing is sugar coated, nothing is softened. This film is an attack on our desensitized feelings towards violence. Yet, at the same time, the film purposely desensitizes us to certain acts -- Such as rape. We see it so much during the film that it becomes "normality" to us, we barely raise an eyebrow. Upon realizing this, one also realizes how the horrible acts shown in the film are possible, and it's a terrible realization.

Salo continues to descend until at the end, when we are taken to the punishing grounds, where various rule breakers are tortured and murdered. This final sequence is the most harrowing and effective I've ever seen in a film. As the victims are tortured and murdered, each one of the fascist rulers take turns as voyer, watching from a second story window, far enough away to not hear the screams of terror and pain. And we watch with him. The film attempts to equate our viewing of this film to their viewing of the executions, after all, we're watching these acts for "entertainment", just as he is. And we distance ourselves from the acts in order to enjoy them, as he does by watching through binoculars far away. It's a savage and truthful attack, one that is impossible to deny.

Also incredibly unsettling is the inherent joy that the villains (Heroes?) feel at their victims pain, sadness and discomfort. Sometimes even to the point of sexual arousal. There is a scene where a girl is crying because her mother died trying to save her from these people. She is completely naked as she weeps, to us, she's the picture of vulnerability and sadness, to the fascists, it's the most exciting thing they've seen all day. The fascists all stand and watch her weep with the utmost sexualexcitement. It is terrifying. It's scenes like these that set Salo apart from other "gross out" movies. Some of the most affecting and frightening scenes are ones where there is quiet, watching the expressions and reactions of people to the various horrible acts.

Salo is a film of rage and sadness. It is a film that asks you to hate humanity, to hate what we're capable of; to look in the mirror and hate yourself. Then weep because nothing can be done about it. Nothing will ever change..


108 of 125 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?