The Grim Reaper (1962)

The Grim Reaper




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A very young Bernardo Bertolucci already shows his talent in this bleak, 94-minute murder mystery, told in an interesting series of flashbacks. A Roman prostitute has been brutally murdered in a park near the Tiber River and in order to forward their investigation, the police corner a handful of people who were in the park at the time. As they separately tell their versions of why they were there and what they did, their narrations do not necessarily match the images on the screen that do … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 1, 2005
Criterion Collection



as Francolicchio

as Homosexual

as Teodoro, the soldier
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Critic Reviews for The Grim Reaper

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

Offers more than filmographic interest.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Bertolucci's dissections reveal the lying and viciousness common to these beasts in the human jungle.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The result is stylish and occasionally haunting.

Full Review… | March 5, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bernardo Bertolucci the poet, declaring a change of medium

Full Review… | November 17, 2009

Never loses its grip on the viewer.

Full Review… | January 23, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

strangely lacking, despite its salacious premise

Full Review… | February 15, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Grim Reaper

This movie reminds me so much of Roshomon, but slower and more boring. There are some good scenes, but for the most part, it's not a great movie. It's just okay.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

In "La Commare Secca," a prostitute(Wanda Rocci) has been murdered in a park. The police have cast their net far and wide for leads while the disembodied voice of law and order interviews possible witnesses and suspects who might have seen anything. Making matters more difficult is the interviewees not exactly being forthright. Starting off is Luciano(Francesco Ruiu) who has gotten a job recommendation from a couple of priests before joining up with his pals Nino(Giancarlo De Rosa) and Sindaco(Vincenzo Ciccora), as they attempt to rob distracted couples in the park. Bostelli(Alfredo Leggi) is a former criminal who has apparently gone straight but still cheats on his wife Esperia(Gabriella Giorgelli) with whom he runs a protection racket.

With its unique story structure and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, "La Commare Secca" is a not entirely successful movie, nor is it entirely without merit. It manages to paint a vivid tableau on a particular day about characters on the move who cannot find any stability which can mean a legitimate job. On the other hand, all the pieces of the puzzle do not exactly fit together as the mystery is resolved a little too perfunctorily.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Experimentally smart and well-paced, Bertolucci's vision was kept on a tight leash as a result of a clearly restrictive budget. Nevertheless, it's an interesting and inolving picture, and it's a tremendous achievement from such a young filmmaker. It's obviously inspired by Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950), but Bertolucci brings a lot of his own ideas to the screen.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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