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The young son of a wealthy industrialist eschews the material pleasures of life and decides to enter the priesthood. His father wishes his son to follow in his footsteps and recruits his young girlfriend to help change his mind. The girl seduces the inexperienced lad, and he quickly falls prey to the material and sexual pleasures of the flesh.
Many of Bolognini's films ought to be re-discovered today. This is one of them.
That's what the precedent user wrote;I second that."La Corruzione" is a great Italian movie which compares favorably with the best of what Antonioni,Visconti or Fellini did in those years.
It begins with a sentence which tells us that " even if God did not exist ,religion (and faith) would be beautiful";then a speech by the high school head teacher ;then a jazzy music which seems out of place ;it actually predates the end of the movie: "La Viaccia" had already a desperate ending ,but Stefano crying in his car over the universal "Corruzione" while reckless boys and girls are dancing to some kinda hypnotic frenetic tune leaves the viewer no hope.Nothing could describe the material world like this last night when Stefano is wandering aimlessly in the streets of a city full of neon and homeless brothers.He wanted to be a priest ,but there's no longer room for purity in a world eager for money,sex and power (that's what Adriana (Rosanna Schiaffino) explains to Stefano on the boat but he does not know the world enough to understand what she means ,or at least he pretends he does not understand) The depiction of the father/son relationship is much better applied on "la Corruzione" than it would be later in "Imputazione Di Omicido Per Uno Studente ";I had seen "La Corruzione " forty years ago,I saw it last night and it has improved with age whereas "Imputazione" is a dated post -68 demagogic movie.
The two actors give superlative performances ,particularly Jacques Perrin I have perhaps never seen better than here.His youthful look works wonders when Bolognini depicts his deceived innocence ;he is deeply moving when tears begin to fall on his cheeks (when there's nothing left to hope ,when words cannot convey what he feels ...) His father (Alain Cuny) is both God and the Devil ;God because he is a wealthy man who selfishly reigns over his fellow men ,because he wants to create a son in his own image (he tells hims so);the Devil because his yacht becomes the garden of Eden where he puts a new Eve .Hints at the Bible abound.First corruption.
The scene of the suicide should be studied ,it's a model of directing ;it could not be more effective if filmed by a thriller specialist.The father pays the victim's father and there won't be any scandal.Second corruption.
A note about the actors: Alain Cuny began his career in "Les Visiteurs Du Soir" (Carné ,1942) and although his career was extremely rich (he was featured in "Fellini-Satyricon" and in "la Dolce Vita" but was deemed too intellectual )he never enjoyed popularity in his native country.
Jacques Perrin is not only a brilliant actor but also a wise producer ("Z","Microcosmos" "Les Choristes" "Ocean" ) .He has made memorable movies both in France ("Peau D'Ane" ) and in Italy ("Cronica Familiare" "Il Deserto Dei Tartari" )
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