8.1/10
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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (original title)
A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.

Director:

Elio Petri

Writers:

Elio Petri (story and screenplay), Ugo Pirro (story and screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gian Maria Volontè ... Il Dottore - Former Head of Homicide Squad
Florinda Bolkan ... Augusta Terzi
Gianni Santuccio Gianni Santuccio ... Questore
Orazio Orlando ... Brigadiere Biglia
Sergio Tramonti Sergio Tramonti ... Antonio Pace
Arturo Dominici ... Mangani
Aldo Rendine Aldo Rendine ... Nicola Panunzio
Massimo Foschi ... Terzi - Augusta's Husband
Aleka Paizi Aleka Paizi ... Inspector's Maid
Vittorio Duse ... Canes
Pino Patti Pino Patti ... Head of Wire-Tapping Office
Salvo Randone ... Plumber
Giuseppe Licastro Giuseppe Licastro
Filippo De Gara Filippo De Gara ... Police Official
Fulvio Grimaldi Fulvio Grimaldi ... Patanè - 'Paese Sera' Journalist
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Storyline

A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime. Written by Damir Dukich <Damir.Dukic@snet.fer.uni-lj.si>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How will you kill me this time? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

9 September 1970 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vera Films S.p.a. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1970)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First part of the "Trilogy of Neurosis", also including Lulu the Tool (1971) and La proprietà non è più un furto (1973). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Augusta Terzi: How are you going to kill me today?
Il Dottore - Former head of homicide squad: I'm going to cut your throat.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The subtitled American version distributed by Columbia has slight differences in the credits. The Italian version opens with blank white-on-black credits (as many other Petri films do). The American version projects the credits onto the opening scene with the Dottore walking around the street. Both the opening and the closing credits (including the film's title and the Kafka quotation) are translated to English as well. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indagine su un cittadino di nome Volonté (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Everyone is GUILTY when the legitimate abuse of violence happens (esp. those on top)
21 July 2006 | by imagineallthenamesSee all my reviews

Some comments in light of previous descriptions of the movie.

This movie is definitively about state violence. Even if to a viewer that has no foreknowledge of the police state that was instituted in Italy (with the help of the CIA as the movie alludes to) in order to keep the Communist Party from taking power (the PCI had the biggest following of any parties at that time), the fact remains that the movie is not much more surreal than the socio-political reality facing the film-maker.

Murders and "suicides" (while in police custody) of left-wing political activists and of anarchists are a fact that Elio Petri was painfully aware of. He made a documentary called "Streghi dello stato" "witches of the state" where Jean Maria Volonte and others expose such "suicides". Elio Petri was politically aware and through out his work there is criticism of the right wing of Italian politics (see TODO MORO).

I think that the movie is most powerful once you are aware of the fact that you can be victimized at the hands of an institution, esp. at the hands of an institution that exists only to maintain political order. Once the politicization of the priorities of those institutions that have the legitimate use of violence occurs, than meaningless violence towards the innocent will be allowed if punishing it would impair the political functions of the state machinery. Flora Balkan is perhaps a symbol for the masses, their love of violence and power, their love for the undoing of their freedoms.

A very fine movie that requires some effort, but that is always actual - thanks to an interesting narration of human nature. The movie does have it's flaws and i the action is not as invigorated as one expects it to be after the first 15 minutes, neither is the camera work at the level it has to be for this movie to be the greatest ever but it is still a hell of a great movie.

Whether or not you agree with this movie's negative portrayal of state violence and of that primal attraction that violence has (explored in a marvelously Mediterranean style in this movie) for so many could make the difference in how much you are puzzled by the movie. If you see it a a satire of power and violence - it might work.


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