Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)

1979

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom) (1979)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom will strike some viewers as irredeemably depraved, but its unflinching view of human cruelty makes it impossible to ignore.

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Movie Info

The final work of notorious Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, this film updates the Marquis de Sade's most extreme novel to fascist Italy in the final days of WW II. Dispensing with the novel's meditations on sexual liberation and the search for truth, Pasolini presents four decadents who kidnap dozens of young men and women and subject them to the most hideous forms of torture and perversion in an isolated villa. Rape, murder, and a coprophagic banquet are only the beginning of the atrocities on display. Photographed by Tonino Delli Colli, the film also features a lavish score by Ennio Morricone. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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News & Interviews for Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)

Critic Reviews for Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5)

Salo... is forceful only in making the viewer want to turn away.

Oct 4, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

This film is essential to have seen but impossible to watch: a viewer may find life itself defiled beyond redemption by the simple fact that such things can be shown or even imagined.

Apr 25, 2016 | Full Review…

It's very hard to sit through and offers no insights whatsoever into power, politics, history or sexuality. Nasty stuff.

Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work.

Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

A perfect example of the kind of material that, theoretically, anyway, can be acceptable on paper but becomes so repugnant when visualized on the screen that it further dehumanizes the human spirit, which is supposed to be the artist's concern.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

What is evident in the film is its power of provocation, very much within the spirit of the famous Marquis... [Full review in Spanish]

Feb 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)

It took nearly 40 years, but we've gotten to a point in modern cinema where looking back on Pasolini's swan song is now a doable, not entirely nauseating task. An essential viewing for any prospective filmmaker.

Kevin Cookman
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

'Salo' masquerades as some sort of political allegory, but the supposed subtext is just a tenuous excuse for covering a whole spectrum of perversity - it has no purpose apart from to shock and disgust.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

A disgusting, extreme and shocking vision by Pier Paolo Pasolini of Marquis de Sade's book. Salo is an uncomfortable and unique experience, that also presents some black humor and humanism. It's a psychological, moral and a metaphor vision of the ditadorship and all the ways of kill the freedom. Unforgettable. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Salo, or the 120 Days of Solom is not a film you're likely to seek out on your own. You pretty much have to be goaded into seeing it. It's one of the most controversial films ever made, despite the fact that it's all a work of fiction. It's based on true events (actually, the book it's derived from is), but if you watch the film closely you'll realize just how fictionally well-made it is. I can't begin to defend it on any sort of moral level. If filmmaking had any deadset morals to it then it would a pretty sparse landscape and I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. The film has a level of social consciousness to it, despite the vile things taking place in it. It contains enough brutal violence, rape, sadism, torture and coprophagia for ten other films. I can't say I enjoyed the film or that I can recommend it. It's clearly an art film and nothing more, but if you can handle the unpleasantness of it without pure disgust or outrage, then by all means, see it as a work of art.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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