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Death of a Cyclist
Death of a Cyclist
Actor: Death of a Cyclist
Director: Juan Antonio Bardem
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama
UR     2008     1hr 27min

Upper-class geometry professor Juan and his wealthy married mistress Maria José, driving back from a late-night rendezvous, accidentally hit a cyclist, and run. The resulting, exquisitely shot tale of guilt, infidelity, an...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Death of a Cyclist
Director: Juan Antonio Bardem
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/22/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1955
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1955
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Death of a Cyclist in an Age of Infidelity.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although he directed nearly twenty films between 1951 and 1997, Juan Antonio Bardem (1922-2002), was a Spanish screenwriter and film director best known for Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un Ciclista) (1955) and as the uncle of actor Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men). The 87-minute film--which is a thinly disguised attack on Spanish society under Franco's rule--won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, and tells the story of a wealthy geometry professor Juan (Alberto Closas) and his mistress Maria José (Lucía Bosé), who accidentally hits and fatally injure a cyclist while driving back from a late-night tryst. Because there are no witnesses to the accident, the two flee from the scene. At a cocktail party, a social rogue (Carlos Casaravilla) with a dislike for the rich then threatens to "ferret out" the couple's "unpretty secrets," pushing the film to its violent denouement. The film ultimatly becomes a lesson in corruption, decadence, and the division between Spanish rich and the poor. The film was originally released in the U.S. as The Age of Infidelity.

The Criterion Collection edition features a new high-definition digital transfer; "Calle Bardem" (2005), a documentary on the revolutionary life and career of director Juan Antonio Bardem; new and improved English subtitle translation; and a booklet featuring an essay by scholar Marsha Kinder and Bardem's 1955 call to arms for Spanish cinema.

G. Merritt"
Open Mind | Bay Area | 05/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Thank you Criterion; everything excels. Mr. Merrit's brief review is absolutely spot on. I would only add that the secondary story...the exceptional and will affect you greatly.

NOTE: The politics of the time in Spain and Europe in general are apparent, but are only retrospectively interesting today. But complementary to this film so try to keep them in mind."
Decadence is beautiful
Manuel Pestalozzi | 10/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a beautiful black and white movie with beautiful people. Its undisputed star, Italian actress Lucia Bose, plays exactly the same character like in Michelangelo Antonioni's "Cronada di un amore" - a dissatisfied egotistical trophy wife of a captain of industry and trade. The noirish plot (cover up of an accident by the Bose character and her lover) gets a political slant as the distracted lover, a mathematician shoved into a position at university by influential relatives, does not pay attention to a woman student and let her fail at an exam. This leads to (comparatively tame) student riots in which the (stunningly well groomed) students ask for the lover's head. The dissatisfaction with social conditions in Spain of the 1950 permeates this movie. The settings in wintry Madrid (and surroundings) will haunt the viewer for a long time. The final scenes are pretty campy but the overall impression is a good one."