The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald) (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald) Photos

Movie Info

One of director Michelangelo Antonioni's more obscure works from the 1980s, this psychological period piece reunites the filmmaker with one of his favorite performers, Monica Vitti. Shot on video and based upon the play The Eagle Has Two Heads (Jean Cocteau made his own film version of the work in 1947), the film casts Vitti as a queen who squares off against an anarchist poet who has come to her castle to kill her. Due to his remarkable resemblance to the long-dead king of the land, the queen falls in love with the dissident.
Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Polytel International Film


Critic Reviews for The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald)

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

The choice of the Cocteau play seems more arbitrary than inevitable, which raises the form-versus-content issue even more than in most Antonioni features.

Full Review… | July 31, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The visual play is interesting, but it doesn't make the director's case that video is as viable as film for artful storytelling.

June 4, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

Mine is a minority opinion, but I am convinced that his experiments with video and colour will make Il Mistero di Oberwald the Becky Sharp of cinema's long-promised and long-deferred electronic era.

Full Review… | August 1, 2015
Sight and Sound

Too stage-bound and the dialogue is too tacky.

Full Review… | April 1, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau.

Full Review… | August 29, 2006
TV Guide

The Mystery of Oberwald marked a brave experiment from the great director.

Full Review… | May 20, 2001
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald)

A strange little chamber drama that may have opened the door for others to condescend to experimenting with video.

Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson

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