Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Director: Elio Petri
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 3.0

Former head of the homicide squad in Rome (Gian Maria Volonté) murders his mistress (Florinda Bolkan) and leaves obvious clues behind for his colleagues to link the crime back to him, except they're so dimwitted it never occurs to them he's the killer - meanwhile, at his new gig, he implements an intensive plan to spy on citizens' phone conversations and arrest young radicals. Petri's bitterness and anger brim under the surface of this condemnation of the abuse of power - this was all occurring during a time of tremendous political unrest in Italy - with only his over-use of extreme close-ups and Ennio Morricone's underwhelming score acting as negatives. The psychology of someone who could commit a crime and almost beg to be caught is intriguing and the creepy role-playing/power games the Volonté-Bolkan couple play (via flashback) suggest that he lost his 'upper hand' with her: a case of the bully being bullied.