Illustrious Corpses

Director: Francesco Rosi
Year Released: 1976
Rating: 3.0

Poor, noble detective Rogas (the impressive Lino Ventura) is given the unpleasant task of investigating why several Italian Supreme Court Justices keep getting murdered, but the farther along he gets in his crime solving, the closer he is to realizing the culprits are ... powerful people. As a police procedural, it's quite good - some have complained (inexplicably) that it's hard to follow, but Rosi does a fine job keeping matters straight as long as you pay attention (it's not The Big Sleep, but what is?). It ends ambiguously and cruelly, but the cruelty isn't shocking: it begins with a memorable sequence of a judge walking through a room of disturbing-looking mummies and concludes with him gunned down on the street. Oh, Italy!