Previously Played

INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION

  • 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40

$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

Directed by ELIO PETRI
Starring Gian Maria Volontè
Music By Ennio Morricone


NEW DCP RESTORATION
Restored in 4K by Colorworks in collaboration with CINETECA DI BOLOGNA.
Funding provided by the HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION, THE FILM FOUNDATION, and SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION

(1970) In a time of internal political disturbance, Roman police inspector Gian Maria Volontè (the bad guy in A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More) gets that plum assignment: crack down on political dissidents; then proceeds to slash the throat of married mistress Florinda Bolkan (“a beautiful, kinky masochist” – Vincent Canby). But as homicide cops swarm over the murder scene, guess who gets tapped to head the investigation? And, as every clue unearthed — most perversely planted by Volontè himself — leads right back to… is anybody going to do anything about it? As director Elio Petri’s split-second edits rocket back and forth between flashback and detection, to the insidious rhythms of Ennio Morricone’s score, Investigation becomes a biting critique of Italian police methods and authoritarian repression, a psychological study of a budding crypto-fascist (but is the arrogantly grim-faced Volontè building a case against himself to be punished, or to prove his invincibility?), a probing why-dunnit, and a buildup to a question-stamped finale. Approx. 112 min. DCP.
A SONY PICTURES REPERTORY RELEASE

REVIEWS

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*****!
[highest rating]
"A paranoid police procedural, a perverse parable about the corrupting elements of power, and a candidate for the greatest predated Patriot Act movie ever!"

– Time Out (New York)

"Gian Maria Volontè, who won his spurs in A Fistful of Dollars, stars as a man with no name. Comfortable though he looked in Western leathers, Volontè seems ten times meaner in a suit… the sweep of black hair, the strut of the gait, the unbreakable jaw, and a distinct aroma of the feral and the result could be Sean Connery's Italian cousin." – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

“STUNNING!”
– The New York Times

“From the start, one is fascinated by the methods of the Inspector’s madness, by the terrible logic of his paranoia and by the brilliance with which he constructs his apotheosis… Dominating the film, which moves forward with the relentless momentum of a good, solid policier, is the performance of Mr. Volontè. He has the cruel upper lip and the heavily-lidded eye of the young Olivier and the manic energy of the early Cagney… It’s a fine performance, full of stylized detail, like the movie it helps to define.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“A potent study of power as pathology… Hardly ever off-screen, Volontè struts through the entire movie — nattily dressed, smirky, charismatic, simultaneously handsome and repellent as Petri’s visually flamboyant film turns into a heady mix of Marx, Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and Brecht, with a bit of Dashiell Hammett thrown into the blender.”
– Elliott Stein, Village Voice

“The investigation itself is on the level of game-playing… The act of killing is closely associated with the hero’s voluntary willingness to become a victim, a prey. This may have something to do with Petri’s own hang-ups; like all good directors who make films about their own obsessions, Petri transmits an obsessive feeling in the film itself. Investigation is stylistically disconnected, but it works because it is absolutely fascinated with the nature of the inspector.”
– Roger Ebert