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Oedipus Rex (1967)

Edipo re (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 7 December 1984 (USA)
In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franco Citti ... Edipo
Silvana Mangano ... Giocasta
Alida Valli ... Merope
Carmelo Bene ... Creonte / Edipo's brother in-law
Julian Beck ... Tiresia / Blind oracle
Luciano Bartoli ... Laio / Former king
Francesco Leonetti Francesco Leonetti ... Laio's Servant
Ahmed Belhachmi Ahmed Belhachmi ... Polibo
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ... Sacerdote (as Ivan Scratuglia)
Giandomenico Davoli Giandomenico Davoli ... Shepherd of Polibo
Ninetto Davoli ... Angelo
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Storyline

In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is rescued, given the name Edipo (Oedipus), and brought up by the King and Queen of Corinth as their son. One day an oracle informs Edipo that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. Horrified, he flees Corinth and his supposed parents - only to get into a fight and kill an older man on the road... Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Morocco

Language:

Italian | Romanian

Release Date:

7 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oedipus Rex See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,248
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arco Film, Somafis See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sophocles, the author of the original Greek tragedy on which this film is based, is given no on-screen credit. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nightstalker (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Film as Art
25 September 2006 | by DAHLRUSSELLSee all my reviews

This film is possibly the most brilliant - color - film AS ART that I I have ever seen. It combines beautiful and fascinating poetic color visuals, unusual landscapes and locations with the classic story of Oedipus.

The story is told with very little dialog, (subtitles for the dialog where present) and this enhances the internal, primal feeling of the piece. Pasolini was often compared to Fellini, but I feel he is much better, because he uses his visuals always to advance and to the purpose of the story. To me Fellini's visuals were often purposeless antic oddity. Here, any ambiguity is not in the story, but in character motivation, which lends modern reality and immediacy to the whole.

The acting style combines the classic Greek use of stylized mannerisms and mask work seamlessly with smaller modern film acting. The setting transitions from 1960s Italy to a primitive/tribal landscape which lends itself beautifully to the timeless/ancient feeling of the Greek story. An example of detail: tribal body painting is used to represent both a ritual queen in shades of Elizabeth R, to the whiteness of a plague death; the costume designs are a combination of rustic and Egyptian/Papal religious.

Cast mainly with little known actors, the big name actor in this film was international star Alida Valli, who has only two or three brief scenes. Her talent is fairly wasted here, but her presence is riveting as the aging, childless queen. (Valli: A brilliant Italian actress who had a brief career here in the 40s-50s, then returned to Italy/Europe, and balanced her commercial work in slashers with more oddball artistically challenging work. Her work often embodies "excess within control," the dichotomy of superficial clam with seething internal emotion. PARADINE CASE, THE THIRD MAN, THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS, CASSANDRA CROSSING, EYES WITHOUT A FACE, SENSO, WALK SOFTLY STRANGER.) This film is the kind of work I would hope to be a part of as an actress and artist. This film could easily be in theatres today and be even more appreciated now than it was at the time of its making.

Theatrically literate, visually stunning, gutsy, and intelligent. Enjoy!


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