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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.

Writers:

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

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Athos Magnani, father and son: You will not kill me. Even a dead traitor is damaging. A hero is more useful. A hero, whom people can love. I shall be basely murdered by a Fascist. We'll offer the spectacle of a dramatic death to seize people's imagination so they will continue to hate more and more Fascism.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Giornata nera (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Giovinezza
sono esguiti dal Concerto CANTONI
I brani
See more »

User Reviews

 
Complex and thought provoking
8 July 2012 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Made the same year as Bertolucci's better known 'The Conformist', this look at the legacy of fascism in a small Italian town certainly has many strong points. Beautifully shot, with some interesting plot twists, and subtly surreal touches it's always interesting.

A son returns to a town where his father – an anti-fascist fighter in the years of Mussolini – was murdered by person(s) unknown, and has been made into a martyr and a hero by the locals. The son meets those who knew his father, and as he tries to discover the truth about what happened in the past, the reality gets more and more complex.

A touch of the conventional thriller runs through this in a good way, keeping the story focused, even when the film-making techniques are a little more obscure or baroque.

Only the slightly flat acting, which feels a bit phony and distancing, keep this from seeming more like a full-on masterpiece. It's as if Bertolucci wanted to engage only our heads, when nothing would have been lost by pulling in our hearts as well - something I think he succeeded with in "The Conformist"

That said, given that many see this as Bertolucci's best film, I'll watch it again.


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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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