The Facts of Murder | Chicago Reader

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This 1959 Italian crime film, based on an experimental novel by Carlo Emilio Gadda, is one of Pietro Germi's better efforts. A police inspector (played with admirable restraint by Germi himself) investigates a theft in a Rome apartment building and soon has a murder on his hands as well. The narrative is a widening spiral of sleaze and intrigue, but it also contracts frequently, examining the characters' personal and social lives (a young electrician supplements his meager income by working as a gigolo; two women fight over the affections of a phony doctor). Germi's austere black-and-white imagery focuses attention on the powerful script, and a young, passionate Claudia Cardinale is effective as the electrician's girlfriend. 111 min.

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