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Roberto Succo (2001)

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Reviews: 9 user | 17 critic

'Kurt' claims to be a sales rep. He also claims to be English in spite of his heavy Italian accent. Kurt is an habitual liar and a dangerous driver, at the very least. In the south of ... See full summary »



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Title: Roberto Succo (2001)

Roberto Succo (2001) on IMDb 6.8/10

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4 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Isild Le Besco ...
Patrick Dell'Isola ...
Viviana Aliberti ...
Swiss teacher
Estelle Perron ...
Leyla Sassi ...
Catherine Decastel ...
Olivia Carbonini ...
Girl at the Etna
Basile Vuillemin ...
Brigitte Raul ...
Child's mother
Marius Bertram ...
Cab driver
Aymeric Chauffert ...
Vincent Dénériaz ...
Philippe Bossard ...


'Kurt' claims to be a sales rep. He also claims to be English in spite of his heavy Italian accent. Kurt is an habitual liar and a dangerous driver, at the very least. In the south of France he meets Léa, age 16. Between his increasingly strange dates with Léa, Kurt engages in a number of armed robberies, some successful, some not... The police are perplexed by a series of crimes including disappearances and a murder. They conclude that they are dealing with a madman... After he proposes, Léa breaks up with Kurt. The attempt to find a new girlfriend leads to a shooting by Kurt, now calling himself André. Léa's information identifies Kurt/André as Roberto Succo, psychiatric patient and parental murderer. The police hunt for Roberto covers three countries. Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | prison | kidnapping | rape | corpse | See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

16 May 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Roberto Succo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Many of the cars are too modern for the 1980s setting, including the Gendarmerie's Renault van and the Swiss police Volvos, and several cars have French registration plates with the European Union flag at the left-hand edge, which were not introduced until the 1990s. There is also a 1990s vintage laptop computer. See more »

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User Reviews

Takes film to a different place
12 June 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Wow. I am still struggling to reconcile this film; a man so amoral, so interesting, unstable, cute and unpredictable. The film is a masterpiece of storytelling and a lesson in how to use subtlety to frame extreme and horrific violence. Let me give you an example. At one point, Roberto/Kurt is cutting his nails and is told by Lea that she wants to end their affair. In that moment his hand slips and he cuts his foot badly. The audience jumped and sucked in air more at that point than at any other in the film; the splash of blood was so unexpected and surprising that it made me gasp.

The director, writer and actors seem to be trying to tell a story without sensationalising or sympathising, there are no moralising "I think we have all learnt something today kids" sections. Roberto Succo is not analysed and explained, the audience is told a story and left to draw their own conclusions. It feels so good to be regarded as an intelligent individual with a degree of perception and a mind of my own.

Two things stuck me after the film. Firstly, that Succo was like a child with tantrums and utter lack of regard for consequence, easily angered and distracted. Capable of charm and unbelievable cunning, his danger came in his lack of restraint when it came to violence.

The other thing that I realised an hour or so after watching the film was that nothing is made up. Every scene features someone who can corroborate the situation, there are no scenes with Roberto on his own, or with a victim that died without a witness. From this I surmise that a conscious decision was made not to fictionalise sections of his existence that had no witness to verify the event. Yet, this is done effortlessly and without being forced. By the end of the film you know as much as anyone else alive about Succo, and no extraneous conjecture, constructed to aid the narrative. This is astounding in its audacity and spectacular in its execution.

The car chases are some of the most stomach wrenching I have ever seen; forget Bullett, Ronin (high speed through Paris...unbelievable driving) and Blues Brothers, this is some of the most tense high speed driving I have seen on film. You have to pity the Police, maybe they were slightly inept, but only because there was no motive for so much of the crime, how often do you come across a criminal so ruthless, pointless and deadly?

Any gripes then? Well, perhaps the film could have been a bit bolder with its camera moves, but then perhaps that would have detracted from the style. I didn't like the soundtrack; I thought the whole film could have done without any music apart from that in clubs and bars. But that is just because I think the film didn't need the punctuation of Marianne Faithful's (OK, very moving) voice.

I understand the outcry in France at this film, and you could take away the impression that the police were at fault. However, the Italian cops came over like fools, and the Germans made such monumental errors that Succo was obviously that thing a police force fear most; insanely dangerous - dangerously insane, but with such a honed fight or flee instinct he was like nothing they could have prepared for. Sad man, pathetic situation, tragic victims; what a film.

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