Quick-Thoughts: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)


An inverted murder case in which the culprit is also the investigator, director Elio Petri presents: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. Gian Maria Volonté’s outrageously brilliant character and performance seems to be the selling point of this peculiar crime drama, as well as the active nature of the camera and I suppose Ennio Morricone’s catchy theme too. Now, about that character…

Dottore, a highly praised leading investigator for the homicide department, has committed an unspeakably atrocious act inspired by the likes of his deviant affair partner Augusta. Yet, he seeks to make an example out of this irregular opportunity. At this point, Italy’s brainless and unrighteous law + order system has become a sick and twisted game to Dottore, and he’s willing to play around with its flaws for as long as it leads to his arrest. Hopefully, it won’t take too much time for them to catch him though, right?

Working in a law department during this time really can desensitize you, huh? Uncovering the faculty’s corrupt ambition to practice conceited partisanships towards their own safety seems reasonable enough to drive anybody connected with it to the edge of lunacy—even ones of great prestige.

Man, the Italian police department must’ve really hated this movie though when it was first released—or any government organization that’s clearly guilty for that matter. Gottem! 

Verdict: B+

“Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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