Degree of Murder (Mord und Totschlag) (1967)
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Audience Reviews for Degree of Murder (Mord und Totschlag)
Today, this German obscurity is best known for its musical score, one of the late Brian Jones' few projects outside the Rolling Stones. It's a solid piece of work, not so bluesy and perhaps resembling "Ruby Tuesday" in a more rocking mode. Plenty of piano and harmonica, and Jimmy Page (then a hot session player) is rumored to add guitar. As for the film itself, Anita Pallenberg (who apparently enjoyed relationships with all or most of the Stones during this era) stars as as a free-spirit waitress who accidentally shoots and kills her boyfriend during an argument. The rest of the film follows her erratically trying to dispose of the corpse. She picks up a young man (Hans Peter Hallwachs, who's still acting today) to give her some muscle, and he eventually calls upon one of his friends (Manfred Fischbeck) to help. How to secretly transfer the body to the car, and where should the poor lad be buried? There's not much more plot than this, and even a mere 87 minutes seems more time than the story deserves. "A Degree of Murder" was the second feature of Volker Schlondorff ("The Tin Drum," "The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum"), but the director's hand is not so visible beyond some rather awkward mind's-eye flashbacks. Mostly, you'll just enjoy ogling Pallenberg and trying to decipher her thick accent.
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