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Spiderweb (1977)

 -  Short | Crime  -  October 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 31 users  
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A rabbi is murdered. Detective Llonrot is called in on the case and looks for a 'rabbinical explanation' for the murder. Other murders are committed and deliberate clues left in chosen ... See full summary »



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Title: Spiderweb (1977)

Spiderweb (1977) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Credited cast:
Gabor Vernon ...
Red Scharlach


A rabbi is murdered. Detective Llonrot is called in on the case and looks for a 'rabbinical explanation' for the murder. Other murders are committed and deliberate clues left in chosen locations. Llonrot, convinced he is on the trail of a 'mystical intrigue' is lured to the 'crime scene' when the tables are turned by his nemesis, the master criminal Red Scharlach. Written by Paul Miller

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

neo noir


Short | Crime





Release Date:

October 1977 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£10,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


(16 mm version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Cuentos de Borges: Death and the Compass (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

The Spiderweb, a 1974 short film
20 January 2008 | by (CZECH REPUBLIC) – See all my reviews

"It's possible, but it isn't interesting," says Erik Lonnrot (Peter Boyle) early in "Death and the Compass", "Reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but a hypothesis may not." That line, taken straight from the Jorge Luis Borges story upon which this film is based, proves to be the ultimate undoing of Lonnrot, a Holmesian detective investigating a series of murders in an unnamed city in the future. Muddying the films' waters considerably is "Death and the Compass'" origins as a fifty-minute short that has since been extended to feature length. Much of the added footage is almost nonsensical, seeking to expand upon the idea that this future world is ruled by a fascist, bureaucratically-obsessed poseur monarchy. The end result is a film that plays like the child of "Brazil," "Robocop," and every first year film student's end-of-semester experimental short subject. Typical of Alex Cox's style, you begin to get the feeling that perhaps the screenplay, direction, casting, costumes, score, and art design were all handled by crew members with radically differing conceptions of what the film was about and who belligerently refused to share their thoughts on the matter with the other departments. It can make for intriguing viewing if you're in the right mindset, but you can't help but feel that it's a missed opportunity. Oh, and a warning: the description of the plot given on this page contains a major spoiler for the film -- the true nature of Christopher Eccleston's character is not revealed until the production's final moments. Viewers hoping for a more accurate version of the Borges story might find something to appreciate in "The Spiderweb," a 1974 short film adaptation featuring Nigel Hawthorne in the Lonnrot role, included as a bonus feature on this disc. It bears the twin virtues of being both more accurate to the original narrative, and much shorter than the Alex Cox version.

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