The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald)
The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald) (1981)

One of director Michelangelo Antonioni's more obscure works from the 1980s, this psychological period piece reunites the filmmaker with one of his favorite performers, Monica Vitti. Shot on video and based upon the play The Eagle Has… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 3, 1981
DVD Release Date: November 14, 2000
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Critic Score: 56% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The choice of the Cocteau play seems more arbitrary than inevitable, which raises the form-versus-content issue even more than in most Antonioni features.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Too stage-bound and the dialogue is too tacky.

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Jaime N. Christley
Apollo Guide

An uneven, unusual work, not entirely successful as an experimental film or as a melodrama, but a must-see for film students and Antonioni buffs.

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Noel Murray
AV Club

The visual play is interesting, but it doesn't make the director's case that video is as viable as film for artful storytelling.

TV Guide

This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau.

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Christopher Null

even the film's elaborate sets and costumes come off looking like plywood and Goodwill rejects

Gilbert Adair
Sight and Sound

Mine is a minority opinion, but I am convinced that his experiments with video and colour will make Il Mistero di Oberwald the Becky Sharp of cinema's long-promised and long-deferred electronic era.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The Mystery of Oberwald marked a brave experiment from the great director.

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