16 user 19 critic

The Spider's Stratagem (1970)

Strategia del ragno (original title)
A man returns to the place where his father was murdered and tries to find closure. But he finds himself in a similar predicament as his late father instead.


Jorge Luis Borges (story "Tema del traidor y del héroe") (as J.L. Borges), Marilù Parolini (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Giulio Brogi ... Athos Magnani, father and son
Alida Valli ... Draifa
Pippo Campanini Pippo Campanini ... Gaibazzi
Franco Giovanelli Franco Giovanelli ... Rasori
Tino Scotti Tino Scotti ... Costa (e con la partecipazione di)


Athos Magnani, a young researcher, returns to Tara, where his father was killed before his birth, at the request of Draifa. The father, also named Athos Magnani and looking exactly like the son, was killed by a fascist in 1936 -- or so says Draifa (his mistress), the town statue, and everyone in town. As the son untangles the web of lies this story is constructed from, he finds himself ensnared in the same web. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From Bernardo Bertolucci, the creator of "Before the Revolution," "The Conformist" and "Last Tango in Paris"


Drama | Mystery


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Did You Know?


The Spider's Stratagem (1970) and The Conformist (1970) were both made by Bernardo Bertolucci within a 12 or 18 month period and both were released in the same year. See more »


Athos Magnani, father and son: It's a town of madmen, old men and old madmen. Yesterday, they locked me in a stable with a horse. "We're all friends here." This morning when I was hardly awake, a punch in the face. "We're all friends here."
Draifa: I've not been able to sleep since he died. Insomnia, without dreams, without anything. Entire nights alert like a hunting dog. I've always known the murderer is a local man; now two of us know it. He's scared. He wants you to go.
Athos Magnani, father and son: Instead of leaving this morning, I'm still here. Among ...
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References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


sono esguiti dal Concerto CANTONI
I brani
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User Reviews

1 April 2006 | by RanchoTuVuSee all my reviews

Quite a film, combining lush photography with brilliantly realized scenes, one after another in fact, from the beginning arrival of the train to the ending, set on the waiting platform of the train station, with a story that weaves in and out of the present (1970) and past (1936) about fascism and the difficult and ambiguous forms the opposition took to combat it. Set in Italy's Po River valley in the town of Tara, it beautifully mixes the cinematic elements of plot, music, character, photography, etc... with a story about the well kept secret of how a man's father became a local hero in the struggle against fascism. Like any society caught in repression, the heroes we know today, who led the fight, maybe were forced by the circumstances of the times to take actions that could only be understood in the context in which they took place. Bertolucci does a great in dramatizing that inherent ambiguity that lies under the statue of the popular hero that is in the center of the town. There are some scenes that simply stand out, especially the outdoor dance (1936) where the hero and the fascists eye each other, and then he grabs the prettiest girl there and has all the dance floor while the camera goes from face to face. But in a film that is so well composed, this is but one of the highlights, none of which would mean much if the whole operation didn't have such an astute level of direction guiding it. For a film that relies so much on image, it says a lot, and doesn't squander any of its characters.

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Release Date:

27 March 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spider's Stratagem See more »

Filming Locations:

Mantua, Lombardia, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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