Fists In The Pocket / I pugni in tasca (1965)

4.5 out of 5

Paola Pitagora and Lou Castel play extraordinary lead roles as a brother and sister within a dysfunctional family and there are suggestions of a possible incestuous undercurrent to their relationship. Castel, a cold and bored fantasist, decides to free his brother and himself of a family of illnesses, a blind mother and imbecilic brother so that his non-imbecilic brother may be free to marry without taking on a burden of care and he himself can find what it is he too seeks in life.

A kitchen sink and social realist feel with limited use of music soundtrack allows this slow burning drama and thriller to concentrate on the relationship between family members without too much in the way of background cacophony beyond that supplied by Morricone's sparse and minimal score. The cold calculating Castel dispatches family members with little remorse in a most utilitarian fashion and becomes increasingly unhinged as the movie progresses. An excellent early role for the delightful Lou Castel.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics