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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)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 35,841 users  
Reviews: 367 user | 143 critic

Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to a hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.


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


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


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


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

10 January 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  »

Box Office


SEK 1,786,578 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In at least three scenes, when the four "villains" enter a room, they walk over a beam of light that's coming from outside. See more »


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


[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 »


Featured in Psych-o-cysts (2005) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

20 September 2004 | by (St. Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Nearly 30 years after its release, 'Salò' continues to enjoy, if that is the word I want, a reputation as a pinnacle of depravity, and thus draws to it both the blood-lusting 'Mondo Cane' crowd, simply interested in being shocked for its own sake, and fans of shock auteurs like Von Trier, Cronenberg, Greenaway et al., who like to look for beauty beneath grotesque surfaces. But both types of viewers will be disappointed to find that the most shocking thing about 'Salò' is how dull it is. Can this film really have raised eyebrows that much in the post-Warhol, post-Waters seventies? Today, its parade of filth and violence actually seems rather tame. You need to have the stomach for it, but it's hardly mind-blowingly horrible.

So, having dealt with 'Salò's' shock elements, I would now move on to its artistic qualities, only there really aren't any. Pasolini's technique is ham-fisted here, reminding one even more of Doris Wishman than of Warhol/Morrissey or Waters, and the content consists of a single thesis statement ('Fascism is bad'). Hardly an idea anybody would argue with, but not exactly profound either. Even as propaganda it's extremely weak--never elaborated in particularly imaginative or interesting or convincing ways. It's like one panel of a none-too-intelligent political cartoon stretched very thin over a two-hour period. Well, here's another rape . . . oh, look, some sh*t-eating . . . well, more torture. Ho hum. 0 out of 10.

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Recent Posts
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
love / hate a-tammuzkhah
Who else thinks the scriptwriter /director lost his mind? axelpuri
I think I missed the point... cyclonajade150
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