Screenplay by Zavattini and the director, filmed in Rome, score by Giovanni Fusco.
The charming murderer sways the heart of a young witness, too young to wear the lipstick of the title, which causes a scandal (it appears later on in Godard’s “Je vous salue, Marie”). Necessary police work digs out another girl taken quite lame.
The painter at an impasse, l’ennui...
The girl, his model if you like, loves a bleach-blond actor and pays his way with the painter’s money, an inheritance, and there’s a scuba diver in Capri...
Out of ennui one takes her, out of ennui one lets her go, nothing in her at all (The Empty Canvas, it’s called in English, she broke the heart of an aged painter, his widow says), nothing...
Howard Thompson of the New York Times thought, no, he never did.
Terrific score by Luis Bacalov.
“And don’t buy bread with that money,” as Mallarmé said to the beggar.
The English dub, called A Bullet for the General.
“It clattered into local houses yesterday,” said A.H. Weiler of the New York Times.
The critical response is embarrassingly poor. The scene in which the family is first seized with demonic rage (exhaustively developed by Star Trek in a famous episode) is filmed strikingly, and the later murders are a reflection of Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood.
Ultimately, the film considers Destruction as a force to be absorbed and overcome.