Slap the Monster on Page One

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Slap the Monster on Page One
Slap the Monster on Page One.jpg
Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Produced by Ugo Tucci
Written by Sergio Donati
Goffredo Fofi
Starring Gian Maria Volontè
Corrado Solari
Laura Betti
Fabio Garriba
Music by Nicola Piovani
Cinematography Erico Menczer
Release date
19 October 1972
Running time
93 min.
Language Italian

Slap the Monster on Page One (Italian: Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina) is a 1972 Italian drama film directed by Marco Bellocchio.

It depicts the daily life of a fictitious Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale (The Journal). The newspaper caters to a conservative, fascist, borgeouis public and its chief-editor Bizanti tries in all manners to give a right-wing slant even to the most trivial news items, while at the same time edulcorating and desensitizing the thornier issues, such as unemployment, police brutality and so on. The whole editorial staff is thrown in a tantrum when a young girl is found raped and killed, going as far as soliciting death penalty nostalgias (capital punishment has been abolished in Italy since the fall of Fascism) and to actually derail the investigation leading the police to a false culprit: a young left-wing student which becomes the "ideal" scapegoat for the newspaper's prejudiced readership. The movie, a searing j'accuse on the perils of press manipulation, closes with no happy ending in sight, with the public opinion totally mesmerized by Bizanti and his cronies for the satisfaction of their backers and financers.

Two years after the movie's distribution a right newspaper called Il Giornale was actually started in Italy by Indro Montanelli.


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