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La Commare Secca (Criterion Collection) (1962)

Cast: Gabriella Giorgetti, Giancarlo de Rosa, Giancarlo de Rosa, more...
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci, Bernardo Bertolucci
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Crime, Cops, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 93 min.
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English
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A very young Bernardo Bertolucci already shows his talent in this bleak, 94-minute murder mystery, told in an interesting series of flashbacks. A Roman prostitute has been brutally murdered in a park near the Tiber River and in order to forward their investigation, the police corner a handful of people who were in the park at the time. As they separately tell their versions of why they were there and what they did, their narrations do not necessarily match the images on the screen that do reflect the truth. By the time all the flashbacks have been completed, a real picture of the crime emerges, revealing that one of those in custody is the killer. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

This film reaps a bundle. by MMeldola February 21, 2005 - 9:11 PM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
La Commare Secca is indeed grim. Yet, if you shy away from this downbeat tale, you will be missing a fascinating film. The prostitutes of Italy suffer greatly (see also Nights of Cabiria); the "grim reaper" visits a whore working in a park. The film's power comes not so much from the tragedy, but from the pathetic suspects. The interrogation of the suspects reveals a spectrum of human weaknesses.

The surprise of the film is the apprehension of the perpetrator. Even in the fabric of petty relationships that the police uncover, a single man, whose motivations are not entirely clear, chooses to do the "right thing"...this turning point is exhilarating.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.61)
38 Votes
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Cinema Italiana

Coming Soon from Criterion: Pietro Germi's Seduced and Abandoned and Francesco Rosi's Hands Over the City

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