Un maledetto imbroglio (The Facts of Murder). 1959. Italy. Directed by Pietro Germi. Screenplay by Ennio de Concini, based on That Awful Mess on Via Merulana, by Carlo Emilio Gadda. With Claudia Cardinale, Pietro Germi, Franco Fabrizi. Restored by Cineteca di Bologna in association with Mediaset RTI and Infinity. In Italian; English subtitles. 4K digital restoration from the Cineteca di Bologna; courtesy Intramovies. 115 min.
“Only Murders…and Burglaries…in the Building”.... In this intricate, clever adaptation of Carlo Emilio Gadda’s That Awful Mess on Via Merulana —recently republished by NYRB Classics and regarded by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Calvino, and Alberto Moravia as one of the great modern Italian novels—Pietro Germi deftly draws upon his Neorealist and commedia all’Italiana sensibilities to fashion an expert whodunit that is also an antifascist exploration of lies, betrayal, and cruel fate. Appearing as Inspector Ingravallo, Italy’s answer to Simenon’s Maigret, Germi casts a suspicious eye on the fetching but cagey servant girl Assuntina, briefly but memorably played by Claudia Cardinale.