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Dillinger Is Dead (The Criterion Collection) (1969)

Michel Piccoli , Anita Pallenberg , Marco Ferreri  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michel Piccoli, Anita Pallenberg, Gino Lavagetto, Mario Jannilli, Carole André
  • Directors: Marco Ferreri
  • Writers: Marco Ferreri, Sergio Bazzini
  • Producers: Alfred Levy, Ever Haggiag
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003152YXM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dillinger Is Dead (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In this magnificently inscrutable late-sixties masterpiece, Marco Ferreri, one of European cinema’s most idiosyncratic auteurs, takes us through the looking glass to one seemingly routine night in the life of an Italian gas mask designer, played, in a tour de force performance, by New Wave icon Michel Piccoli. In his claustrophobic, mod home, he pampers his pill-popping wife, seduces his maid, and uncovers a gun that may have once been owned by John Dillinger—and then things get even stranger. A surreal political missive about social malaise, Dillinger is Dead finds absurdity in the mundane. It is a singular experience, both illogical and grandly existential.

Stills from Dillinger is Dead

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(7)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"I make a film that will be seen and appreciated by the thousand of people I probably hate the most. I want to make a film in truly bad taste!" - Marco Ferreri

Marco Ferreri, the Italian filmmaker who many looked at as a rebellious director that some looked at as innovative, non-compromising, intelligent but also controversial, provocative and a man who could care less of what people thought about his film.

Never a shy man, Ferreri was to the point of how he felt. Arthouse fans may have loved his films but he could care less about those people who watch art house films. In fact, he hated those types of audiences. He was not a big fan of the popularity of the Cinemateque Francais of the '60s (which he called the films "incoherent") and nearly interview that revolved around his work, you can easily tell Ferreri was agitated, especially when it seemed the interviewer wanted to praise his style of filmmaking or a film.

And if there was one film that people loved, it was Ferreri's 1968 Italian art house film "Dillinger e morto" (aka "Dillinger is Dead). Looked at as one of Ferreri's true masterpiece and a film that was well-received, this irked Ferreri. In fact, because of the positive attention he received from the film, Ferreri could not wait to get back to the films that he was known for...films that were provocative and, in his own words, "bad taste".

"Dillinger is Dead" is a dark film that borders between fantasy and reality. A film that has hardly any dialogue, but its the actions of this man of the bourgeois lifestyle coming home from work and like a voyeur, we take a peak of how he is inside the home. Is what we are watching completely real or is this a film about dreams manufactured from a man with desires?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just see it February 3, 2012
Format:DVD
It's a waste of time talking about the structure of this film or what it means... I saw it just a short while ago and it totally knocked me out. On the face of it, it sounds like the most boring premise ever... no one would want to watch it based on that. Yet it captivated me from beginning to end... and I'm often impatient these days with most things I see.

The look of this film is excellent. It was shot in the actual apartment of a very famous pop art/painter (1969), and it is a convincing and compelling 'set' in contrast to, oh, let's say Godard's tableaux, which often seem so contrived. It could have been shot yesterday, but for a few outdated appliances. Even better is the uncredited soundtrack that plays practically non-stop in the background throughout most of the film. It really adds to the scenes and augments the action, but not too obviously.

The motive of the film is very much of its time, though... again, it is saved by following entirely poetic impulses.

This is a disturbing film that seasoned viewers who appreciate Lynch, Bunuel or Imamura would welcome. You have to drop your expectations of logic and let the impressive talent of the lead (Piccoli) guide you through the weirdness... it's not as deliberately maddening as some self-indulgent art films, but it definitely takes you out of the ordinary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth owning October 2, 2011
Format:DVD
This is in my top 10 of Criterion movies. I was mesmerized by this. Very colorful, beautiful, fluid piece of art. Without much dialogue and a minimal story line, Ferrari and the charismatic Piccoli have created a rich work. I felt a complex range of emotions that have remained with me since watching this. Also, there's just something cool about it. No reservations giving this 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dillinger's Effect May 9, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Criterion hit the mark again. We follow a man who can cook, who goes to a daily existence of a job and returns home and watches TV, cooks and goes to bed. The man stumbles on a handgun purported to have belonged to John Dillinger in a storage compartment he has in his quarters. We are taken through his feeling it necessary to dismantle the gun, clean the pieces and reassemble it. As this is being done, he comes across newspaper clippings and a video tape which he finds he must watch. He paints the gun red and plays with it by putting the assembled gun's barrel in his mouth. He then decides to put an end to his dull, daily existence. He murders his female companion and disposes of the body and attempts to begin a new life away from where he currently resides. He meets a goal he hadn't envisioned. Does the spirit of Dillinger exist in the handgun?
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