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Death of a Corrupt Man (1977)

Mort d'un pourri (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 7 December 1977 (France)
One early morning deputy Philippe Dubaye wakes up his old friend Xavier Maréchal with disturbing news: he has just killed Serrano, a racketeer with extant political connections. Serrano ... See full summary »


Georges Lautner


Jean Laborde (novel) (as Raf Vallet), Michel Audiard (dialogue)
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alain Delon ... Xavier 'Xav' Maréchal
Ornella Muti ... Valérie
Stéphane Audran ... Christiane
Mireille Darc ... Françoise
Maurice Ronet ... Philippe Dubaye
Michel Aumont ... Commissaire Moreau
Jean Bouise ... Commissaire Pernais
Daniel Ceccaldi ... Lucien Lacor
Julien Guiomar ... Fondari
Klaus Kinski ... Nicolas Tomski
François Chaumette François Chaumette ... Lansac
Xavier Depraz Xavier Depraz ... Marcel
Henri Virlojeux Henri Virlojeux ... Paul
Colette Duval Colette Duval ... La secrétaire de Serrano
Carole Lange Carole Lange ... La fille du vestiaire


One early morning deputy Philippe Dubaye wakes up his old friend Xavier Maréchal with disturbing news: he has just killed Serrano, a racketeer with extant political connections. Serrano kept proofs of Dubaye's involvement in corrupt dealings and was poised to use them against the deputy. Xavier readily agrees to cover up for his old pal Philippe, but he soon runs into difficulties. Nobody believes Dubaye's alibi. And everybody -- influential personalities, powerful businessmen, dubious go-betweens and the police -- wants to get hold of the documents that served to blackmail Dubaye; by all possible means. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 December 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Twisted Detective See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Adel Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film with Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet appearing together on screen. See more »


In the car chase scene with Alain Delon and Ornella Muti being chased by the killers, the roads switches from soaking wet to bone dry between shots. See more »


References The Passenger (1975) See more »


Tout Est Tranquille
Written by Philippe Sarde
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlo Savina
Featuring Stan Getz (Saxophone), Andy LaVerne (Piano), Rick Laird (Bass), Billy Hart (Drums), Marcel Azzola (Bandonéon) and Efrain Toro (Percussion)
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the great French political thrillers
17 November 2016 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film from the seventies, MORT D'UN POURRI (DEATH OF A CORRUPT MAN), was produced by and stars Alain Delon , who was remarkably handsome and talented, as everyone knows (or at least, as everyone knew, now that so much time has passed). It is a spectacularly well directed film by Georges Lautner, and the cinematography is equally stunning. The film is one of those French classics which are being restored nowadays in France and issued as Blu-Rays, accompanied by a DVD for those who cannot play Blu-Rays. This is one of the many such films which have now been issued with English subtitles. The film goes more deeply into the profundity and pervasiveness of French political corruption than most of the many French films on that subject. An outstanding modern example of the genre is the hair-raising TELL NO ONE (2006, see my review). The French are obsessed, and for good reason, with the corruption which pervades their government and society like rich seams of black coal running through a strip mine. So pervasive is corruption in France at the highest levels that one is tempted to say: 'There could be no recognisable France without corruption.' A morally clean French Government is as inconceivable as is a cesspool filled with pure spring water. Whereas political thrillers in America tend to portray corruption as an aberration, French films more often portray it as an intrinsic rot, like a leper displaying his disintegrating limb. Delon's old chum Philippe Dubaye, a Deputy in the French Parliament, comes to him in the middle of the night, while Delon is in bed with his adoring girlfriend (Mirielle Darc), and says something really terrible has happened. He has killed another Deputy in the Parliament. Without hesitation, Delon offers to help clean up the mess, but the mess becomes messier and more people are killed, as the ripples of corruption widen on the surface of the political pond. Every which way Delon turns, there are people being murdered, commencing with his close friend Philippe. After this, he becomes obsessed with discovering who killed him, which leads him into increasingly desperate dangers. He then befriends Phlippe's girlfriend, played by Ornetta Muti, who had the biggest and most alluring bedroom eyes in the film business at that time. When she looks at a man, he feels the heat as if someone has turned on the grill. Muti then effortlessly dominates the screen with all of her emanations of sex appeal, with the camera lovingly dwelling on her simmering looks. More and more outrageous attempts are made to try and murder Delon, who keeps scraping through impossible ambushes, such as cars falling on top of him. The dialogue was written by Michel Audiard, who also was a director himself. The twists and turns and multiple spiders' webs multiply faster than a spider can scuttle up a wall. The sinister air of menace is greatly heightened by the subtle performance of Klaus Kinski as one of the most powerful bad guys. This certainly is a cracking yarn, and is real edge of the seat stuff.

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