Teorema (Theorem)


Teorema (Theorem)

Critics Consensus

Anchored by powerful performances and tied together by writer-director Pier Paolo Pasolini at the helm, Teorema poses intriguing questions behind a veil of mystery.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,128
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Teorema (Theorem) Photos

Movie Info

Terence Stamp is known only as "The Visitor" in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Teorema. The mysterious stranger insinuates himself into the home of a wealthy Italian family, where he exerts a curious, sensual spirituality over everyone in the household. He then proceeds to seduce everyone in the family (male and female) including the maid, which gives each person some sort of unique epiphany. Because he reveals so little about his innermost thoughts, "The Visitor" becomes all things to all people. What it boils down to is this: Is the enigmatic visitor Christ, or is he the Devil? Matching Terence Stamp's multi-textured performance every step of the way is Laura Betti as the family's maid; Betti, in fact, won the "Best Actress Award" at the 1968 Venice Film Festival. Director Pasolini adapted the screenplay of Teorema from his own novel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Teorema (Theorem)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2)

  • The film, made in 1968, was provocative then and remains so now. But it doesn't elucidate its ambivalent moral secrets easily.

    Apr 12, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It is as if Pasolini has imagined how Italy's bland, complacent, stagnant governing class could be blown wide open: like putting a hundredweight of dynamite in the San Andreas fault.

    Apr 11, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • The narrative, almost silent in the first half, is unusually clear for a film by Pasolini. Performance by all members of the cast are praiseworthy, though Stamp dominates the first half and Betti, the second.

    Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • What would be pretentious and strained in the hands of most directors, with Pasolini takes on an intense air of magical revelation.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie itself is the message, a series of cool, beautiful, often enigmatic scenes that flow one into another with the rhythm of blank verse.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • I don't feel ready to write about this mysterious film; perhaps, a week from now, I'll decide it is very bad, a failure. But perhaps it is the most brilliant work yet by that strange director, Pier Paolo Pasolini.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Teorema (Theorem)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    What you get out of Teorema will largely be based on your appreciation of it as art and how it challenged in its time. Teorema is more film-based art than an art house film (which I often rate up). As a film, I found Teorema to be tedious and unnatural / contrived and rate it down. Could easily see a contemporary art lover going the opposite way and rating it up.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2013
    A mysterious young buck visits a wealthy household, makes love to the father, son, mother, wife, and housekeeper and then leaves; all of them are lost without him and fall into separate strange tragedies. Another dry and dull, and inexplicably influential, experiment from Italian masochist Pier Paolo Passolini.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2012
    Arresting and profound! The film begins with the ending. Stamp acts as an awakener to the pseudo-existence of the bourgeoisie. Stamp's character can be summarized by a Nick Cave lyric: I found god and all of his devils inside h(im). The second half of the film, or upon Stamp's departure, is lingeringly complex. Upon initial viewing and at a cursory level, I find each character reacting to their a...wakening or crisis of the spirit, through means of the physical, insanity, art, sexuality, misguided spirituality, or stripped naked of materialism, possibly lost in the horror of recognition. I know there is a statement in this film about society, the spirit, and its relation to the human condition and experience: I just don't know what to think of it yet.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2011
    The circling theory among viewers deals with Pasolini's "unconceivable" attempt to merge Christianity and Marxism in a single feature-film. Yet, the result is magnificent, provoking, seductive, and in love with visual language and ambiguous imagery, highlighting scandal in the eyes of any given society. Brilliantly made. Who needs words when the images speak for themselves? 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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