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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 (314 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto
  • Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019X3ZZY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,170 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

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
The End of "Salo", a forty-minute documentary about the film's final scene "Salo": Yesterday and Today, a thirty-five-minute documentary featuring interviews with Pier Paolo Pasolini, actor-filmmaker Jean-Claude Biette, and Pasolini's friend Nineto Davoli
New interviews with set designer Dante Ferretti and director and film scholar Jean-Pierre Gorin
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
Theatrical trailer
A booklet featuring new essays by Neil Bartlett, Roberto Chiesi, Naomi Greene, Gary Indiana, and Sam Rohdie, and excerpts from Gideon Bachman's on-set diary

Editorial Reviews

Pier Paolo Pasolini s notorious final film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, has been called nauseating, shocking, depraved, pornographic . . . it s also a masterpiece. The controversial poet, novelist, and filmmaker s transposition of the Marquis de Sade s 18th-century opus of torture and degradation to 1944 Fascist Italy remains one of the most passionately debated films of all time, a thought-provoking inquiry into the political, social, and sexual dynamics that define the world we live in.

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
The End of Salò, a 40-minute documentary about the film s final scene
Salò: Yesterday and Today, a 35-minute documentary featuring interviews with Pier Paolo Pasolini, actor-filmmaker Jean-Claude Biette, and Pasolini s friend Nineto Davoli
Fade to Black, a new short documentary about Salò, featuring interviews with filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, and John Maybury
New interviews with set designer Dante Ferretti and filmmaker/film scholar Jean-Pierre Gorin
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
Theatrical trailer
Optional English subtitles
PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by Neil Bartlett, Roberto Chiesi, Naomi Greene, Gary Indiana, and Sam Rohdie, and excerpts from Gideon Bachman s on-set diary

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
436 of 468 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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290 of 314 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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369 of 434 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most dangerous film of all-time November 21, 2001
By Brian
Format:DVD
This film is not an exploitation film. Anyone that watches it based on that assumption is missing the whole idea of the movie. Pasolini made this film as an indictment of society, culture, and history. The film is about fascism, neo-fascism, and capitalism, and the images on the screen are not to be taken at face value, but as metaphors for contemporary society and politics. The sexual depravity shown on the screen, the coprophagy, the torture, it is all symbolic. For example, the children in the film are forced to eat excrement becuase Pasolini believed that contemporary culture and society was excrement, and thus was force feeding us, the consumer, with excrement.
The most interesting aspect of this film is that Pasolini, a homosexual, linked homosexuality with death and fascism. Why after portraying homosexuality in a beautiful way in his earlier works did Pasolini change his tune, nobody knows. Some think he lost his mind while making this movie.
Many don't like the film because Pasolini makes the victims out to be emotionless and doesn't allow us to pity them. But thats just what he wanted! By watching the movie, we are like the victims, allowing ourselves to be abused and also being a spectator to abuse. Again, everything in this film is done for a reason.
Before watching this film you should be familiar with de Sade, Dante's Inferno, and have some basic understanding of fascism and its history. If you lack any of these three elements, don't watch the movie because you will not get it at all. Again, don't watch this movie at face value. It is one of the sickest, most disturbing films ever made, and it is that way for a reason. Not for shock value or to get banned in country after country, but to make a statement. This film is so dangerous that it is believed by many that Pasolini was assassinated for making it. If everyone got this movie, the world would be in deep trouble.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't do it!
Not at all what I was told this show would be in the reviews I saw. If you want to watch a bunch of people sit there eating plates of their own feces then buy this. Read more
Published 11 days ago by David Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfull film still to this date
A Film that wil never lose its power
Published 12 days ago by Cthulhuswrath
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful cinematography.
A very sick but must-see movie for the fan of banned films. It's no Caligula, but it stands up. Beautiful cinematography.
Published 13 days ago by J. D. Brooks
2.0 out of 5 stars that it's as bad as homosexuality
Did it really need 116 minutes for Pier Paolo Passolini to tell us that from the perspective of 1975, he he thinks of Italy's Fascists of 1944 as homosexual, cross dressing,... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Toytoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fine
Published 25 days ago by virgilio e. hoffmann
5.0 out of 5 stars All things are good when taken to excess
This is an outstanding BFI issue of Pier Paolo Pasolini's notorious final film, Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975). Read more
Published 29 days ago by Film Buff
1.0 out of 5 stars It seems that this movie's only purpose is to totally gross its...
Let me just say that there is absolutely no reason what-so-ever to sit through this super gross-out and highly offensive sack of crap. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TechnoMachinima1996
2.0 out of 5 stars SALO is SADOooooo
I hate when they say the MOST SHOCKING SCENES ON FILM......ahhhhh not so much....over played and over acted, I understand the underlying story line, but don't get all the hype... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joe
2.0 out of 5 stars No Good
This is not for the faint of heart. A little Gross to say the least.
Published 1 month ago by Gary Crews
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 3 months ago by S. Osborne
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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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