Bernardo Bertolucci

La commare secca

La commare secca

The brutalized corpse of a Roman prostitute is found along the banks of the Tiber River. The police round up a handful of possible suspects and interrogate them, one by one, each account bringing them closer to the killer. In this, his stunning debut feature—based on a story by Pier Paolo Pasolini—Bernardo Bertolucci utilizes a series of interconnected flashbacks to explore the nature of truth and the reliability of narrative. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the first realization of a legendary talent.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Exclusive new video interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by film critic David Thompson

New cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Exclusive new video interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by film critic David Thompson

New cover by Michael Boland

La commare secca
Cast
Carlotta Barilli
Serenella
Lorenza Benedetti
Milly
Clorinda Celani
Soraya
Giancarlo De Rosa
Nino
Vincenzo Ciccora
Sindaco
Alvaro d'Ercole
Francolicchio
Romano Labate
Pipito
Silvio Laurenzi
Homosexual
Alfredo Leggi
Bustelli
Santina Lisio
Esperoa's mother
Allen Midgette
Teodoro, the soldier
Ada Peragostini
Maria
Emy Rocci
Domenica
Wanda Rocci
Prostitute
Francisco Ruiu
Canticchia
Marisa Solinas
Bruna
Erina Torelli
Mariella
Renato Troiani
Natalino
Credits
Director
Bernardo Bertolucci
Story
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Screenplay
Sergio Citti
Producer
Antonio Cervi
Music
Piero Piccioni
Cinematography
Giovanni Narzisi
Editing
Nino Baragli
Costume design
Adriana Spadaro
Screenplay
Bernardo Bertolucci

From The Current

Pasolini’s Rome

Ian Thomson has written a fascinating piece on Pier Paolo Pasolini for the Times Online, on the occasion of the publication of two books on the Italian filmmaker-writer-poet: John David Rhodes’s new study of Pasolini’s Rome, Stupendous, Miserable…


La commare secca

How many filmmakers not only get to assist one of the great poets of cinema in his debut as director but also make their own first feature by the age of twenty-one? To be sure, Bernardo Bertolucci had grown up with certain advantages, including close…

By David Thompson


Explore

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ability to simultaneously embrace conflicting philosophies—he was both a Catholic and a Marxist; a modern-minded, openly gay man who looked to the distant past for inspiration and comfort; a staunch leftist who at one point in the late sixties infamously spoke out against left-wing student protests (sympathizing instead with the working-class police)—was matched by the multifariousness of his professional life, as a filmmaker, poet, journalist, novelist, playwright, painter, actor, and all-around intellectual public figure. What he is best known for, however, is undoubtedly his subversive body of film work. He was a student of the written word, and among his earliest movie jobs was writing additional dialogue for Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957). Soon he was directing his first film, Accattone (1961), a tale of street crime whose style and content greatly influenced the debut feature of his friend Bernardo Bertolucci, La commare secca (1962), for which Pasolini also supplied the original story. The outspoken and always political Pasolini’s films became increasingly scandalous—even, to some minds, blasphemous—from the gritty reimagining of the Christ story The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) to the bawdy medieval tales in his Trilogy of Life (1971–1974). Tragically, Pasolini was found brutally murdered weeks before the release of his final work, the grotesque, Marquis de Sade–derived Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), still one of the world’s most controversial films.