Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

Elio Petri directs Gian Maria Volonte, Florinda Bolkan and Orazio Orlando in this satirical Italian crime movie where an overconfident police inspector kills his mistress and leaves extra clues to condemn himself.

An anomalous and hypnotic film… the humour and brutality exposes the corruption and incompetence in Italy’s justice system. But it can also be taken relatively straight faced too. As a thriller where we identify with a cocky man who dances along the brink of oblivion after committing a crime. Leone regular Gian Maria Volonte’s is superb as the oily top cop falling apart under the weight of his own guilt and invulnerability. A game weasel drowning in respectability and privilege. Every time he tries to lead the homicide investigators or his superiors towards the truth he is overlooked and every time he catches onto his senses and tries to cover up his guilt things skew… weirder. The movie absorbs paranoia, kinky crime scene sex, office politics, student terrorism and a discordant, silly score from Ennio Morricone. The reason Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion works so well is its persuasive unpredictable strangeness. A world of order turned on its head, where the hollow little lives of the bullying bureaucrats smother the freedom and vitality of the next generation. It really is a movie like no other even though it often delivers on its skewering of the establishment and our desire to see this nasty piece of work evade repercussions for all his sins with thrilling elan.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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