Death of a Cyclist (Criterion)
Corruption among the upper class, whose members so often feel that they are above the law, has been a favorite movie theme from the beginning. Juan Antonio Bardem’s 1955 melodrama takes on a philandering couple whose guilt grows after the death of the hit-and-run victim they left on the side of the road. Even if Bardem’s attack on the hypocrisies of Franco’s Spain now seems less than riveting--and the weak ending seems tacked on to avoid Franco's censorship--there is something undeniably fascinating about Death of a Cyclist, especially its precise black and white imagery and the highly charged performances of Juan Fernandez Soler and María José de Castro.
EXTRAS: Documentary about Bardem’s career.