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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom: The Criterion Collection (1975)

Paolo Bonacelli , Giorgio Cataldi , Pier Paolo Pasolini  |  NR |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto
  • Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Writers: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sergio Citti, Pupi Avati, Marquis de Sade
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi, Antonio Girasante, Alberto De Stefanis
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1559408855
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,457 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom: The Criterion Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A loose adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò is perhaps the most disturbing and disgusting film ever made. It is also one of the most important, offering a blistering critique of fascism and idealism that suggests moral redemption may be nothing but a myth. Criterion presents Salò in its uncut, uncensored version.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
434 of 466 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars �Salo�: A Relentless Allegory May 29, 2002
Format:DVD
"Salo" is most certainly one of the most controversial films of all time. With an eye sensitive to horrific imagery, it is easy to fall into a trap and see the imagery for only what it is, as opposed to what it represents. For, the power of "Salo" is to be seen in the relentless metaphor that it contains. Once one knows a couple of basic hints it becomes far easier to peel off the layers of disgust to reveal the true essence of this powerful film.
The basic characters fall into several archetypes:
1) The 4 Men: represent the fascist rule that dominated Italy during the Nazi rule. Given more power than they should have, they are content to savage the people they rule over with no respect for the humanity that they have been given control over.
2) The teens: the victims of this fascist control (the Jews of the Holocaust, the Italian people, etc.) who quickly lose all their dignity and rights under such savage treatment. Escape appears to be only a couple of steps away and seems quite easy; yet, for these individuals, it is impossible.
3) The madams: The politicians that (although not participating directly in most of the exploitation of the populace) provide the direction and desire to commit such crimes to humanity. Easily recognizable, they are just a step below the 4 men in the line of power.
4) The soldiers: the populace of Germany/Italy who allowed these atrocities to go on. Witnessing the entire situation as it escalates (much like it did in Nazi Germany), these people fall under the Nazi spell. For them, it is impossible to sympathize with individuals that have been so debased, so no guilt is felt on their part for the crimes they are involved in.
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289 of 313 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The infamous film, Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom, has been reissued by Criterion in a special 2 disc edition. Criterion initally put out this DVD when they were still doing laserdiscs and DVD simaltaneously (its DVD spine number was 17), and the original DVD was pretty much barebones and not a particularly good transfer of the film (on either the laserdisc version or the DVD version). Now it's being released in a deluxe edition. What about the film itself? Is it worth picking up? Is it truly disturbing? Is it a work of art? Yes, yes, and yes.

Pasolini made this film in 1975 right after his "trilogy of life" films, which included The Decameron, The Cantebury Tales, and Arabian Nights (aka Thousand and One Nights). Those films were very joyful and playful, and did quite well at the box office. Pasolini went into a deep depression afterwards, feeling that all his films were bogus and compromised, and set out to make a film, as he called it, "undigestable". Salo was that film.

It is based on the Marquis de Sade's book, which was written in 1789 but not published until 1935. De Sade's book, while interesting at first, soon becomes boring and repetitive, outlining one sexual abberation after another. It's not erotic, in fact, it's quite disgusting, as most of the sexual behavior concentrates on coprophilia. Pasolini's film is much better than the novel, as Pasolini had much more to say with his film. He changed the original setting from 18th century France to the last days of Mussolini's government, which had set up shop in Salo, an actual province in Italy. Four fascists round up 8 teenage boys and 8 teenage girls, haul them off to a secluded villa, and degrade them and themselves for the duration.
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194 of 226 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone February 16, 2004
Format:DVD
I've wanted to see this film for the longest time as it is known as "the most disgusting movie ever made." This of course intrigued me,but I also heard it was a very artistic film, incorporating many themes of human degradation and facism. Pier Pasolini directed this film and later was killed by a male prostitute (stabbed to death) and it was rumored he was killed FOR making this film.
Now, I'm not going to go on and on about artistic values and philosophical thoughts, because I really don't know that much about the subject at hand, I merely was curious about the film and watched a friend's copy. Now, lots of parts are difficult to watch (especially if there are parents around); like extremely degrading sex acts, human torture, and sodomy. The film centers around a group of 4 middle aged men who decide to capture a large group of random young teens (about 14-17 years old) and bring them all back to a mansion to a former prostitute who would tell them stories about her life, very sexually explicit stories, with the help of other older women they would keep these children captured basically as sex slaves- most of the time they were naked, fondled and just toyed with for the pleasure of these men. One scene which almost had me gagging was one where they all sat for a dinner, the main course was a huge silver tray of steaming human feces, they all were forced to eat (the "bad" guys loving every morsel of it). Other scenes where some of the children actally enjoyed some homosexual acts with these men made me cringe (not because I have anything against gays, but this film was just so perverse, yet strongly intriguing about it).
Well, there were a few girls in the group who wanted to rebel. Not much came of that except more punishment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom Review
The movie did a good job of depicting human depravity. In doing so, it showed humans don't really have great concerns for the well-being of humans outside their family / friendship... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for the whole family!
What can I say? A nice interpretation of the infamous "book". I showed this film to a friend that had no idea what it was and he was upset that I made him sit through it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dennis A. Johnston Jr.
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash!
It's hard to believe that any one put time, effort and money into producing such trash. The idea behind the story may have been good; but, the stupidity in the direction and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Eason
1.0 out of 5 stars There is something seriously wrong with anybody who could enjoy...
Its disgusting. Watching people go through this, it seemed real to me, like watching a documentary of children being tortured. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sydni
1.0 out of 5 stars SALO
This movie wasn't nearly as gruesome as I expected. As far as the sex and violence goes, it isn't too graphic and is more insinuated than anything. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Destinie Archer
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money
Salo was very well made and is a loose adaptation of Le Marquis' work. It shakes you to the core and is disturbing. Very very well put together and acted. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amanda Marie Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Salo
One of my favorite movies but not for the weak of heart.
It's really a great account of the horrors of fascism. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Victor M. Dasilva II
1.0 out of 5 stars rotten plot
This movie was awful. The only positive I got from buying it was giving it to a friend, who watched it with his friends, then complained to me, "They all thought I was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kevin White
1.0 out of 5 stars Um...wow...
I have read the reviews of what a deep movie this is and the important social message. What I saw was a badly acted porno with some near vomit-inducing moments. Read more
Published 6 months ago by C. Boblit
5.0 out of 5 stars No fairy tale is as sweet, as romantic, as lovely, as scary.
It is, like "Hansel and Gretel," or "Little Red Riding Hood," a tale of innocence vs. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Danny Fields
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Who writes the descriptions for Amazon?
They read fine to me, try clicking on the entry and you will see they list director's last and actors first. I was looking into getting a copy of Salo, so I have it in my wish list from the day the entry came up and it is always been right as far as I know. I am talking about the new versions, ... Read More
Nov 12, 2008 by Ulalume Jones |  See all 3 posts
Criterion DVD or new BFI Bluray?
The biggest inclusion on the BFI version is the feature docu "Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die," which gives a good introduction to Pasolini, his life, and the controversy surrounding his murder. It's available separately here on Amazon or on Netflix.

The on-set footage may or may... Read More
Jul 28, 2008 by St. Rasputin |  See all 5 posts
120 days of sodom
I admit I've never read the original book and have only read snippets of Justine, but I am of the opinion that Sade was actually more of a provocateur rather than a practicing pervert. I think history has been replaced by legend and myth because his writings were so pornographic, lewd, and... Read More
Oct 17, 2008 by S. Wetzel |  See all 8 posts
Criterion Re-Release
I cannot find the Criterion blog. I really hope this is released again, I don't want to pay a ridiculous price for this movie.
Sep 24, 2007 by Mary Harrington |  See all 4 posts
Welcome to the Salo forum
I have never viewed this film, I have simply read the "120 Days of Sodom" Does anybody know where I could buy it at a decent price?
Apr 20, 2007 by John |  See all 10 posts
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