A judicious analyst of Italian cinema, Freddy Buache
remarks: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is an attractive
stylistic exercise applied to a kind of searing philosophical tale.
This may, at times, turn into a pamphlet directed against the hypocrisy
of the power wielded in regimes where democracy is a nothing more
than an easy tag, an alibi to con-done all measures of repression.(...)
The mood and psychology of the script may remind one of Simenon
at his best. Yet, by dint of its inspiration, its writing, and its
verve, despite a direct allusion to Kafka, it rather conjures up
a caustic, Voltairean mind. In addition, the film is proof that
it is still possible, within the framework of the commercial system,
to make fundamentally non-conformist films, which, by dint of cynicism,
humour or para-dox attain a high level of demystification".
At the same time, the film gave Gian Maria Volontè, whom
Petri also directed in We Still Kill the Old Way, The Working Class
Goes to Heaven and Todo Modo the opportunity to display his protean
talent: "By his acting alone, Volontè tells us where
we are : outside reality, or this side of it. Childish, violent,
obsessive, vain, "somebody", and yet despicable, both
"authoritarian" and a little creep: he runs through the
whole gamut. His gait, his jerks of the chin, his fits of temper
portray a Napoleon laying into people, pinching the cheeks of the
soldiers of the Old Guard, a Mussolini strutting laughably, groping
for the words to be bawled out on a balcony. He's out of this world
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto
US title: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
Director: Elio Petri
Story and Screenplay by: Elio Petri, Ugo Pirro
Assistant Directors: Antonio Gabbrielli, Lorenzo Magnolia
Director of Photography: Luigi Kuveiller
Cameraman: Ubaldo Terzano
Art Director: Carlo Egidi
Costume Designer: Angela Sammaciccia
Sound: Mario Bramonti
Editing: Ruggero Mastroianni
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Music Conducted by: Bruno Nicoai.
Production: Danielle Senatore for Vera Film and Marina Cicogna
for Euro International Films
Production Manager: Romano Cardarelli
Cast: Gian Maria Volonte’ (“the Inspector”),
Florinda Bolkan(Augusta Terzi), Gianni Santuccio (the Police Commissioner),
Orazio Orlando (Inspector Biglia), Sergio Tramonti (Antonio Pace),
Salvo Randone (the plumber).
Lenght: 115 minutes
Prix special at Cannes Festival 1970.
Oscar for Best Foreign Film, 1970.