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Genres: Drama
Actors: Lucia Bosé , Alberto Closas , Bruna Corrà , Carlos Casaravilla , Otello Toso , Alicia Romay , Julia Delgado Caro , Matilde Muñoz Sampedro , Mercedes Albert , José Sepúlveda , José Prada , Fernando Sancho , Manuel Alexandre , Jacinto San Emeterio , Manuel Arbó
Director: Juan Antonio Bardem
Country: Spain, Italy
Year: 1955
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 (1357 votes)

Juan is an academic, his career stalled, teaching at the university because of his brother-in-law’s prestige. María José is a socialite, married to wealth, bored but attached to her comforts. The two are lovers. On an isolated country road, their car strikes a cyclist; fearing exposure, they leave him to die. Distracted, Juan unjustly fails a student. Rafa, a bitter savant in their social circle, hints that he knows something, and he threatens to expose them to María José’s husband, Miguel. Miguel’s pride may be the lovers’ best hope. Then Juan proposes a solution.

Film Review

These deus ex machina endings are simply a reminder from the director: this is a movie. Sure, it's a shock, but there you have it.I found this to be a wonderful film, even more so in that the Spanish (with subtitles) was easy enough that I could understand most of it.I don't think one has to be embroiled in the politics of the time to understand it. Like all great art, it works on many levels. The lead actress is not just selfish, she represents the life force — the will to succeed, accompanied by the corruption that goes with all success. By the same token, the hero could be seen as finally possessed by a death instinct, the urge to purify oneself by relinquishing all desire to live normally.I was rocked by many little surprises during the film. I liked the moment at the end where the actress plays with the different options open to her as she turns the key. This is no doubt far-fetched, but I remember a scene in King of Marvin Gardens when the actress plays with the gun and…

It may be a social commentary on the Spanish bourgeois, but there's just enough passion, murder and betrayal to counterbalance the sermonizing in Muerte de un ciclista. On an empty road, an adulterous couple hit a bicyclist with their car. To avoid revealing their affair, Juan and Maria Jose abandon the man, who subsequently dies from his injuries. What follows is their struggle to keep their crime and relationship a secret. Several themes are predominant. The tragedy wrought by war, which in this case was the Spanish Civil War. The striking disparity between the wealthy and poor. The condemnation of the corrupt elite. The just punishment of the wicked. Director Juan Antonio Bardem is to be commended for creating a film that criticized Spain's ruling class during the repressive era of Franco. That said, the movie comes close to preaching occasionally, hitting us over the head with Juan's realization that he must break free of the conformity that his wealth and status re…

Bardem's 'Death of a Cyclist' sees illicit lovers choose not to help the dead cyclist in question nor admit to their guilt. Forced to share this murderous secret their love affair turns torrid. Rafa the self penned 'Critic' of Spain archly ignites the touchpaper that sees the couple forcing themselves into making a decision about whether or not to live with the secret. They then both make their fateful decisions…Although much has been made of the ending, and that the ending is not something he agreed to, however it seems to offer hope for a society that at the time had been torn apart and in part corrupted by a violence and self aggrandisement. Juan's actions in the third act also hint at a goodness at the heart of the wormy apple.One for those who liked Malle's 'Lift to the Scaffold' and 'Double Indemnity'.

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