Illustrious Corpses

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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While not as immediately tough as Rosi's political case histories, Illustrious Corpses burns on a slow fuse. A lone policeman (Ventura) investigates the murders of prominent legal figures. But as he stumbles on a conspiracy of national dimensions, the mystery thriller expands into an exploration of the mysteries of political power. The machinations of both Right and Left are set against the constant fact of human mortality (as referred to in the film's title). And a sense of the past is ever present: huge public monuments sit in judgment on the grey men who move through their corridors of power. What impresses most are scenes displaying Rosi's bravura: an obsessive judge shot in his tomb-like mansion; a party calculatedly shocking in its lavishness; Ventura alone in his flat when the horror of his discovery hits him. The photography serves perfectly the growing sense of unease, and Ventura is as quietly excellent as ever.

Release details

Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Francesco Rosi
Screenwriter: Francesco Rosi, Tonino Guerra, Lino Jannuzzi
Cast: Lino Ventura
Alain Cuny
Paolo Bonacelli
Marcel Bozzuffi
Tina Aumont
Max von Sydow
Fernando Rey
Charles Vanel
Renato Salvatori
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