Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) (1958)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) Photos

Movie Info

An adulterous couple is forced to take responsibility for their actions in this tense drama from Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bardem. Maria Jose (Lucia Bose) is a beautiful woman whose husband Miguel (Otello Toso) is a wealthy and powerful businessman. Juan (Alberto Closas) is a mathematics instructor at a Spanish college who is distantly related to Miguel, and owes his position to Miguel's influence. Juan was also Maria Jose's boyfriend when they were younger, and now they're carrying on an affair behind Miguel's back. One night, while driving home from an assignation, Juan and Maria Jose accidentally run over a man on a bicycle; the stranger quickly dies, and the lovers speed away rather than deal with the consequences. But over the next few days, Juan's conscience begins to bother him, and finds it hard to bear the knowledge that he took another man's life. Maria Jose is also troubled, but for different reasons; Rafa (Carlos Casaravilla), a devious socialite, infers to Maria Jose that he knows about her secret life, but she's not certain he he's just speaking about her infidelity or her role in the cyclist's death. A major critical success in Spain, Muerte de un Ciclista (aka Death Of A Cyclist) was released in Europe in 1955, the same year director Bardem published a controversial essay on the decline in Spanish cinema under the rule of Franco. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Lucia Bosé
as Maria Jose
Bruna Corrà
as Matilde
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Critic Reviews for Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

[Transposes] the ugliness of power relations in a repressive society to the spheres of sex and gossip.

Full Review… | January 19, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Imagine a Michelangelo Antonio drama of upper class disaffection by way of a film noir...

Full Review… | May 21, 2008
Turner Classic Movies Online

Explicitly designed as a shock to the system, Death of a Cyclist too often settles for academic subversion.

Full Review… | April 27, 2008
Slant Magazine

A mannered guilt trip melodrama made with a great deal of difficulty under the Franco regime.

Full Review… | September 27, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista)

[font=Century Gothic]"Death of a Cyclist" starts with Juan(Alberto Closas) and Maria Jose(Lucia Bose) hitting a cyclist with a car Maria Jose was driving. Juan notices that he is still alive and wants to help but she persuades him to leave. She is married to a wealthy businessman, Miguel(Otello Toso), while Juan is the black sheep of his family, accomplishing nothing on his own, and only gaining his assistant professor position through the patronage of his brother-in-law. In class one day, he reads in the newspaper that the cyclist has died, interrupting a student's presentation. To make matters worse, a member of their social circle, Rafa(Carlos Casaravilla), has been insinuating to Maria Jose that he knows what happened...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Death of a Cyclist" is a compelling drama that explodes out from a simple idea. The movie is well directed and edited, but loses some of its momentum in the second half by laying on its central theme of selfishness a little too thick. But the movie takes the theme of selfishness and uses it as a veiled criticism of the Franco regime which ruled Spain at the time. Remember, that the best govenment serves the people, the worst only concerned with its own interests.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

[size=3][color=#004040][img]http://www.afi.com/silver/new/nowplaying/2007/v4i4/images/cyclist.jpg[/img][/color][/size] [img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/sites/bfi.org.uk.whatson/files/images/death_of_a_cyclist.jpg[/img] [size=3][color=#004040]Although he directed nearly twenty films between 1951 and 1997, Juan Antonio Bardem (1922-2002), was a Spanish screenwriter and film director best known for Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un Ciclista) (1955) and as the uncle of actor Javier Bardem ([/color][/size][url="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00118T63C/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk/002-1594085-8055210"][size=3][color=#004040]No Country for Old Men[/color][/size][/url][size=3][color=#004040]). -[color=black]Amazon.com[/color][/color][/size] [size=3][color=#004040]When this film received the International Critics Award at Cannes, director Bardem was unable to accept the award as he was serving one of several prison sentences meted out by Francisco Franco's regime. [/color][color=#004040][color=black]- Janus Films[/color][/color][/size] [size=3]A wonderful film all the way around. Beautifully filmed, a timeless story and amazing actors. My only complaint - and it is a small one - is a few camera tricks that the director used to try and take us from one scene to the next didn't, imho, age that well. Besides this one flaw that last no more than a few seconds out of the entire film, I would rate this film 9 out of 10 stars.[/size] [b][size=3][i][u]TCM'S DEATH OF A CYCLIST REVIEW[/u][/i][/size][/b] [url="http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article.jsp?cid=141992&mainArticleId=141976"]http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article.jsp?cid=141992&mainArticleId=141976[/url] [size=3] [/size]

rtn tomato
rtn tomato
½

[url="http://www.spain-film-review.com"][size=4]SPAIN FILM REVIEW[/size] [/url]- Death of a Cyclist A lone cyclist is run over by a woman and her lover one day while driving on a highway. Rather than risk revealing their affair, María José (Lucia Bosé) and her companion, Juan (Alberto Closas), members of the Spanish elite, leave the man to die on the highway. Upon their return to their bourgeois lifestyles in Madrid, they just might have been able to bury their deed in their consciousness, if it weren’t for a single witness: Rafael Sandoval (Carlos Casaravilla). María José is filled with paranoia when Sandoval tells her at a party that he saw them on the highway, yet is tortured by uncertainty over just how much he knows. María José’s marriage to Miguel Castro, their status in society, and their potentially lucrative business dealings with the Americans could be put in jeopardy by Sandoval’s knowledge. María José is thus highly interested in finding out what Sandoval knows, and giving him what he wants to make him shut up. [img]http://www.spain-film-review.com/images/muerteciclista3sm.jpg[/img] Sandoval, a mediocre art critic, actually makes his living watching the sins of the upper class and blackmailing them at opportune moments, and María José and Juan are his latest victims. He takes advantage of the fact that their single concern is the image of piety rather than piety itself, as María José's husband warns: “An ugly act can ruin a family name.” As the culprits engage in a careful game to make sure their secret is kept, Sandoval acts as a sort of mirror for this group, reflecting their actions back at them and reminding them that they are “trashy, selfish pigs.”

Danny Elmakawi
Danny Elmakawi

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