Terence Stamp, Silvana Mangano, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky,

Into the home of a classic bourgeois family—father, mother, son, daughter, and maid—walks a stranger (Terence Stamp). This handsome, unassuming young man was described by Pier Paolo Pasolini as “a generically ultra-terrestrial and metaphysical apparition: he could be the Devil, or a mixture of God and the Devil. The important thing is that he is something authentic and unstoppable.” One by one, each family member seeks—and finds—in the visitor a catalyst for the fulfillment of desires denied within the confines of the family structure. Liberated by a moment of authenticity, each is left, on the visitor’s departure, with a personal kind of madness, stripped naked in a symbolic desert. Pasolini’s first film shot in a bourgeois milieu is predicated on the theorem that “anything done by the bourgeoisie, however sincere, profound and noble it is, is on the wrong track.” But Pasolini continued, “This condemnation . . . has to be suspended before a final assessment is made, since . . . the bourgeoisie is undergoing a revolutionary change. . . . That is why the film remains ‘suspended’; it ends with a cry.”

  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Giuseppe Ruzzolini
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 98 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Janus Films

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