Tripti Joshi

Death of a Cyclist

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Director  Juan Antonio Bardem
Initial DVD release  April 22, 2008
Language  Spanish
7.9/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Music director  Isidro B. Maiztegui
Country  Spain
Death of a Cyclist movie poster
Release date  May 9, 1955 (1955-05-09) (Cannes Film Festival) September 9, 1955 (1955-09-09) (Spain)
Writer  Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Fernando de Igoa
Cast  Lucia Bosé (María José de Castro), Alberto Closas (Juan Fernandez Soler), Bruna Corrà (Matilde Luque Carvajal), Carlos Casaravilla (Rafael Sandoval), Otello Toso (Miguel Castro), Alicia Romay (Carmina)
Similar movies  In the Mood for Love, Grill Point, Little Children, Stolen Kisses, Willenbrock, 1. Mai

Eddie muller introduces death of a cyclist 1955 at noir city seattle uptown theater 2 14 2014

Death of a Cyclist (Spanish: Muerte de un ciclista) is a 1955 social realist Spanish drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bardem and starring Italian actress Lucia Bosè, who was dubbed into Spanish by Elsa Fábregas. It won the FIPRESCI Award at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.


Death of a Cyclist movie scenes

Eddie muller introduces death of a cyclist 1955 at noir city seattle uptown theater 2 14 2014


Death of a Cyclist wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart71483p71483d

While returning to Madrid after an illicit tryst, a wealthy socialite housewife and a university professor accidentally strike a bicyclist with their car. Although they see that he is still alive after the accident, they know they cannot summon help for him without their affair being revealed. They drive away and leave him to die. After the bicyclist's death is reported in the newspaper, the pair deal with ever-rising tension, borne from their fear that their deeds will be exposed.


  • Lucia Bosè as María José de Castro
  • Alberto Closas as Juan Fernandez Soler
  • Otello Toso as Miguel Castro
  • Bruna Corra as Matilde Luque
  • Carlos Casaravilla as Rafael "Rafa" Sandoval
  • Manuel Alexandre as cyclist
  • Critical analysis

    Film critic Robert Koehler wrote of the director's goals when shooting film, "With the economy of Tourneur and Walsh, Bardem immediately establishes in the opening frames of Death of a Cyclist not only the incident to which the title refers, but also, more crucially, that lovers Juan (Alberto Closas) and Maria José (Lucia Bosé) are doomed. ...The Rafa-Maria José-Miguel interplay is sprinkled with irony, sarcasm, and suggestion, and comes to a boil with the help of social satire, revenge, paranoia, and suspicion. It’s quite a soup, and Bardem has fun dipping into it. Contrary to the film’s reputation as a stark rebuke of Franco-era hypocrisy and corruption, Death of a Cyclist is perhaps most surprising and memorable for this half-terrifying, half-comical roundelay of three people caught in a web of misunderstanding (Maria José mistakenly convinced that Rafa witnessed something of the bicycle accident) and distrust (each of them for the other).

    Film critic Mark Mesaros discussed the stylistic aspects of the film, writing, "Death of a Cyclist is a polemical tale that borrows the grammar of the Hitchcockian murder mystery as well as the forbidden romance of film noir to achieve its ideologic ends...Beginning with the techniques that are most efficacious, it’s necessary to emphasize Bardem’s brilliant use of cuts and dissolves throughout. What will be remembered most by viewers is the way the film jump cuts effortlessly between the seemingly primary melodrama and scenes of so-called 'social realism'. At first the cuts are employed between bourgeois and working class milieus, but later more abstract associations will be made. It’s apparent that our pair of privileged sinners lie totally outside of 'social reality': when their sports-car hits the cyclist we do not see his twisted frame, only the twisted frame of the bicycle, and the reactions of Juan and María José. Through the course of events Juan will be forced to interlope within the reality of the cyclist and his family, while María José will be further ensconced in the delicate net of her delusion."

    American reviews

    When first released in the United States in the 1950s, even though the film was hailed in Europe, The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther, panned the film and its style, writing, "Aside from the fact that Señor Bardem has not chosen an especially novel theme or given his treatment of it any new or surprising twist, he has actually confused it with weird plotting and a wild, choppy cinematic style. Señor Bardem's cinematic syntax has no capitals or punctuation marks. He jumps from one scene to another without terminal notifications or dissolves. You have to be awfully attentive to figure out where you are...Maybe they have cut this Pathé picture, and the English subtitles are poor. But Señor Bardem will have to do better to make his laurels look deserved."



  • Cannes Film Festival: International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI Prize), Juan Antonio Bardem; 1955.
  • DVD

    The film was released in the United States by The Criterion Collection.


    Death of a Cyclist Wikipedia
    Death of a Cyclist IMDbDeath of a Cyclist

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