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Slap the Monster on Page One (1972)

Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 26 April 1973 (France)
A populist right-wing tabloid newspaper tries to derail the official police investigation of a brutal murder of a young girl in order to help the fascist and right-wing candidates it supports in the upcoming elections.


Marco Bellocchio


Sergio Donati (original story and screenplay), Goffredo Fofi (screenplay collaboration)


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Cast overview:
Gian Maria Volontè ... Giancarlo Bizanti
Fabio Garriba Fabio Garriba ... Roveda
Carla Tatò Carla Tatò ... Moglie di Bizanti
Jacques Herlin ... Lauri
John Steiner ... Ingegner Montelli
Michel Bardinet Michel Bardinet ... Giornalista de 'Il Giornale'
Jean Rougeul ... Direttore de 'Il Giornale'
Corrado Solari ... Mario Boni
Laura Betti ... Rita Zigai
Enrico DiMarco Enrico DiMarco ... Commissario
Silvia Kramar Silvia Kramar ... Maria Grazia Martini
Massimo Patrone Massimo Patrone ... School Porter
Gianni Solaro Gianni Solaro ... Italo Martini - Maria Grazia's father
Luigi Antonio Guerra Luigi Antonio Guerra ... 2nd speaker at press conference (as Luigi Guerra)


1972, Milano. We are just a few days before the general elections. The daughter of a well-known professor is found dead. Mr Bizanti editor in chief of newspaper "Il Giornale", in agreement with its owner Mr. Montelli, decides to charge of following the story the junior Roveda and the senior Lauri. At one point, some elements indicates senator Boni as a possible murderer. All the "old guard" within "Il Giornale" drives articles in order to underline responsibilities of senator Boni. But young Roveda doesn't surrender and continues to search for the truth. Written by 1felco

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Not Rated | See all certifications »



Italy | France



Release Date:

26 April 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

O Monstro na Primeira Página See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


Director Marco Bellocchio replaced Sergio Donati, who had written the story and was to direct, but was forced to drop out due to illness. See more »

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User Reviews

SLAP THE MONSTER ON PAGE ONE (Marco Bellocchio, 1972) ***
24 January 2010 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Considering the sheer amount of (vaguely boring) movies flaunting their individual creator's extreme left-wing politics to emerge from Europe throughout the 1960s and 1970s, it is hard in hindsight to believe just how many talented film-makers were 'duped' into upholding such naïve ideals; that said, the other side of the coin – basically equating Fascism – was even less comforting and that more dangerous…but it does make for rather intriguing (and ultimately more rewarding) cinema! Bellocchio's film, then, was one of a handful of titles to look at this alternative 'option': perhaps the most famous such example was Elio Petri's Oscar-winning INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION (1970), which shares with the picture under review its leading man – Gian Maria Volonte'; like that one and Dino Risi's similarly excellent IN NOME DEL POPOLO ITALIANO (1971), the film takes the form of a thriller – both this and the latter, in fact, involve the investigation into the rape and murder of a teenager emanating from high society: here, a radical is accused of the crime – and hounded by Volonte''s opportunistic newspaper for it – but the guilty party turns out to be somebody else, ferreted by a reporter not taken in by his superior's wiles, who is pursued in turn (and even blackmailed!) by the unscrupulous editor. The movie paints a most cynical image of the press, beginning with Volonte' 'embellishing' – and directing his underlings to shoot – a fire that broke out at the office during a riot (he is seen making intermittent contact throughout with the politically-affiliated young owner of the paper, played by "Euro-Cult" stalwart John Steiner); later on, while viewing the TV broadcast of a talk-show he was involved in, the man even takes it upon his wife – for her passivity and intellectual limitations!; however, the worst victim of his dishonesty is the uncouth schoolteacher (Laura Betti) he befriended in order to exploit for her affair with the murder suspect – one of the film's best sequences is the one where she is made to confront her lover's fellow activists in the police station. The film features a good Morricone-esquire score by Nicola Piovani and ends on a shot depicting the rampant pollution at the city limits – a metaphor for the so-called "yellow press" and remarkably similar to the finale of yet another newspaper movie, the classic FIVE STAR FINAL (1931).

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