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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

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Italy, Rome A senior police officer discloses evidence implicating him after committing a horrible crime because his moral commitment stops him from bypassing the law and the social order it safeguards. Elio Petri directed the 1970 Italian criminal drama film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. It is a dramatic, psychological, black-humored parody on high-level corruption, depicting the story of a senior police officer who murders his mistress and then tests if the police would arrest him for the crime. He begins to manipulate the inquiry by placing clear clues that the other police officers either purposefully or unintentionally miss. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Trailer

 

Plot

A freshly promoted police inspector (Gian Maria Volonté) murders his mistress (Florinda Bolkan) and then covers it up. He infiltrates the inquiry, planting clues that lead his subordinates to a number of additional suspects, including the woman’s homosexual spouse and a young leftist radical. He then clears the other suspects and directs the investigators toward him to demonstrate that he is “beyond suspicion” and can get away with anything, even while under investigation. Finally, he confesses to the crime in front of his superiors, who do not believe him. He recants his confession and wins the police commissioner’s clearance, certain that he is safe.
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