Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

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Directed by Elio Petri
Photography by Luigi Kuveiller
Written by —

Rome, Italy. After committing a heinous crime, a senior police officer exposes evidence incriminating him because his moral commitment prevents him from circumventing the law and the social order it protects.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is a 1970 Italian crime drama film directed by Elio Petri. It is a dramatic, psychological, black-humored satire on corruption in high office, telling the story of a top police officer who kills his mistress, and then tests whether the police would charge him for this crime. He begins manipulating the investigation by planting obvious clues while the other police officers ignore them, either intentionally or not. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Trailer

 

Plot

A recently promoted police inspector (Gian Maria Volonté) kills his mistress (Florinda Bolkan), and then covers up his involvement in the crime. He insinuates himself into the investigation, planting clues to steer his subordinate officers toward a series of other suspects, including the woman’s gay husband and a student leftist radical. He then exonerates the other suspects and leads the investigators toward him to prove that he is “above suspicion” and can get away with anything, even while being investigated. In the end, he confesses to the crime in front of his superiors – who refuse to believe him. Sure that he is safe, he recants his confession, and receives the approval of the police commissioner.

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