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Author Topic: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)  (Read 37001 times)

Jonny

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aka Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto



Fabulous film from Elio Petri scoring a best foreign film Academy Award in 1971 and featuring a terrific performance from Gian Maria Volonte, surely one of the best Italian actors ever.

I've been wanting to discuss this film for a while now, mainly concerning the ending, so here goes.


SPOILERS
At the end of the film Volonte, only credited as 'Police Inspector', is in his house and is seen lying on his bed. He's disturbed by the arrival of a delegation of officials, higher ranking members of the Police, and is given a dressing down for his crime and even though he admits to the murder is absolved by his peers and is off the hook. As soon as he's been let off the film cuts to him lying on his bed where he is seen to be waking from a nap, he gets up and looks out the window to see his peers arriving at his house... The film then ends.



My take on it is that the aforementioned visit and his subsequent 'letting off the hook' for his crime was a figment of his imagination, he is afterall barking mad, and he dreamt it all. When he's shown getting up off the bed and the Police arriving he's now in reality and he's about to get busted.

Any thoughts? Hope that made sense!

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Paul

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I've not seen this and have deliberately avoided reading your spoilers. I shall watch it sometime during the next week and let you know what I think.
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Mart85

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Great film.  First saw it thanks to Jonny's excellent fan dub. I took the ending the same way you did Jonny.  Think I'll have to watch it again soon because I got the feeling it's one of those films that gets better after you've seen it a couple times.
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Inspector Tanzi

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My take on it is that the aforementioned visit and his subsequent 'letting off the hook' for his crime was a figment of his imagination, he is afterall barking mad, and he dreamt it all. When he's shown getting up off the bed and the Police arriving he's now in reality and he's about to get busted.

Any thoughts? Hope that made sense!

That's what i thought after seeing it, at first i thought is was the bigwigs looking after each other, then when  the next scene came along it made sense.
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"When I read the book of Mormon, I feel closer to Jesus Christ."

LANZETTA

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I only saw this for the first time last week (thanks Jonny  :D ) and its a wonderful film with Volonte on superb form as the demented police inspector who believes that he's so untouchable that after commiting murder on a lover (who repeatedly humiliates him),he has the audacity to leave several clues along the way.Morricone's score is also excellent. ;) 
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Paul

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I watched this tonight and was really impressed with the flick. I came to the same conclusion as Jonny but I do believe there are some really suble ambiguities in the ending. One can't help but think that the scene in which he confesses the crime to his peers and they reject his story, plays like a savage attack on the Italian establishment of the time - it would have been easier to turn a blind eye for the department to save face. Volonte's characters is literally reduced to tears before he relents and denies the murder; the complete mirror image of the false confessions beaten out of suspects during the era.

I could talk about this film all night and the more that I think about it, the more I want to see it again. It's an astonishing film. I would kill for this to come out properly, in Italian with English subs.

That said, this was a cracking job you did, Jonny - the Medusa disc looks lovely too. :-X
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Jonny

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I could talk about this film all night and the more that I think about it, the more I want to see it again. It's an astonishing film. I would kill for this to come out properly, in Italian with English subs.

I've been waiting ages to hear your thoughts Paul, I've got a subtitled version if you want it mate....
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Paul

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I could talk about this film all night and the more that I think about it, the more I want to see it again. It's an astonishing film. I would kill for this to come out properly, in Italian with English subs.

I've been waiting ages to hear your thoughts Paul, I've got a subtitled version if you want it mate....

I never knew you had a subtitled version! Would definitely like to see it - I think an Italian language print would make this great film even better!
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Jonny

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I never knew you had a subtitled version!

I knew you'd not seen the film and I always guessed it was easier to get someone to visit a film for the first time if it was in their native tongue...

I knew you'd like it. Gian Maria Volonte is the best Italian actor ever, prove me wrong if you can...
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Paul

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I never knew you had a subtitled version!

I knew you'd not seen the film and I always guessed it was easier to get someone to visit a film for the first time if it was in their native tongue...

I knew you'd like it. Gian Maria Volonte is the best Italian actor ever, prove me wrong if you can...

To be honest can't think of much elese I've seen him in, besides some spaghettis. He's certainly good in this - completely off his fucking rocker. All the way through the flick I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of - he looks like a cross between Clive Owen and Steve Carrell in this  :-\
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LANZETTA

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Volonte's fascist character and performance very much reminds me of his transformed Brad character in FACE TO FACE which is also one of the most compelling spaghetti westerns.
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Jonny

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Volonte's fascist character and performance very much reminds me of his transformed Brad character in FACE TO FACE which is also one of the most compelling spaghetti westerns.

I'm a total Spaghetti Western newb, not seen 'Face to Face'... You reckon I should do so LANZETTA?
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Inspector Tanzi

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I do ::)
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LANZETTA

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Volonte's fascist character and performance very much reminds me of his transformed Brad character in FACE TO FACE which is also one of the most compelling spaghetti westerns.

I'm a total Spaghetti Western newb, not seen 'Face to Face'... You reckon I should do so LANZETTA?
Absolutely!!!!! ;)
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Jonny

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A couple of posters I own...

UK quad (bought off Tanzi)



and a Yugoslavian poster I scored off eBay

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