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

Paolo Bonacelli , Giorgio Cataldi , Pier Paolo Pasolini  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto
  • Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Format: 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: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019X3ZZY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,794 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.

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
426 of 457 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars �Salo�: A Relentless Allegory May 29, 2002
"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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286 of 309 people found the following review helpful
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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368 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most dangerous film of all-time November 21, 2001
By Brian
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 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 21 days ago by Kevin White
1.0 out of 5 stars
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 1 month 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 1 month ago by Danny Fields
5.0 out of 5 stars these are the people who run YOUR 'country'.............whereEVER you...
this is NOT a film for beginners of art films or mystical material in general. you will find yourselves in deep water quickly. Read more
Published 2 months ago by enigmatic aethers
2.0 out of 5 stars Downer
OK, here we go. Like you I bought this film to see a lot of pretty young girls in their birthday suits. Well, they are in the movie but are really not a central part of the film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by W. Conroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost porn....
Interesting view of facism. I have a feeling there were more prudish fascists as wellk, but then again I wouldn't have watched a movie about them.
Published 4 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Buried as you scared
Unforgettable in your retinas.The learns of Sade, the filmmaker denounce the consumer society and globalized societies tyrannized for power.People says whats sheet... Read more
Published 4 months ago by rko
3.0 out of 5 stars 120 Minutes of Sodomy.
Viewed: 12/13
Rate: 5

12/13: First of all, one question needs to be answered: Why did I choose to see Salò even though I sort of expected what I was in for? Read more
Published 4 months ago by Austin Somlo
5.0 out of 5 stars Only for the strong of stomach. Not at ALL for the faint of heart....
You must have a very strong stomach to watch this Criterion Collection stand-out. Again, based on fact, this is exceptionally hard to stomach, and many times I kept saying to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bernard M Lynch Jr
2.0 out of 5 stars NEVER TRUST A YIPEE
just because im back eric 9/0 dont believe da hipe nah ahh ahh ah nah. that was my cal back to my holaback girl she aint no but she be
Published 7 months ago by Gregory J. Belcastro
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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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