18 user 25 critic

The Grim Reaper (1962)

La commare secca (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 May 1982 (USA)
When a woman is killed in a park, the police bring in everyone suspected of being there when the incident occurred and question them. One of them is the killer.


Pier Paolo Pasolini (story), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Francesco Ruiu Francesco Ruiu ... Canticchia
Giancarlo De Rosa Giancarlo De Rosa ... Nino
Vincenzo Ciccora Vincenzo Ciccora ... Mayor
Alfredo Leggi ... Bostelli
Gabriella Giorgelli ... Esperia
Santina Lisio Santina Lisio ... Esperia's mother
Carlotta Barilli ... Serenella
Ada Peragostini Ada Peragostini ... Maria
Clorinda Celani Clorinda Celani ... Soraya
Allen Midgette ... Teodoro, the soldier
Renato Troiani Renato Troiani ... Natalino
Wanda Rocci ... Prostitute (as Vanda Rocci)
Marisa Solinas ... Bruna
Alvaro D'Ercole Alvaro D'Ercole ... Francolicchio
Romano Labate Romano Labate ... Pipito


Under a broad bridge on the ill-lit banks of Rome's silent Tiber River, a hapless prostitute lies dead. Six prime suspects and their distinctly different stories become inextricably intertwined, as an impoverished purse-snatcher; a suave former thief; two friends and penniless Casanovas; an impulsive young soldier, and a mysterious man in clogs tell their versions of what happened that fateful night near the quiet Paolino Park. Now, amid a heterogeneous group of potential killers, who all have something to hide, only one man is capable of such a hideous crime. Will he get away with murder so easily? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The brilliant first film from the highly regarded Bernardo Bertolucci, director of "The Last Emperor" and "Last Tango in Paris".


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #272. See more »


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User Reviews

I Just Chanced on This
13 October 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

In the spirit of Rashomon, we have the idea of multiple versions of a tragedy, the beating death of a prostitute in Rome. Bertolucci fell into this directing opportunity and makes the most of it. While it has rough edges, it is an engaging tale. Those present at or near the murder scene are brought in for questioning. There are three young, aimless men who are petty thieves. There is a man who is almost expressionless. There is a strange looking soldier who seems utterly lost and without social skills. There is a man with a history who can be heard because he wears clogs and clicks on the cobblestones. There are others, but each offers his account of an evening in a park near where the murder was committed. Everything is subtle and visual and we can see the beginnings of some pretty impressive camera-eye technique. There are wonderful shots like the opening where the wind blows papers in the air off a bridge. It is seen from below and at first it looks like birds flying. The acting is quite good. A down side would be a lack of clues. All we have are eye-witness accounts which could contain lies. Nevertheless, this is a sound beginning.

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Release Date:

6 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La cosecha estéril See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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