The Beast Must Die
February 14, 2020
In this Argentinian restoration, a writer adopts a new identity to track down the hit-and-run driver who killed his son. Based on a landmark 1936 novel of psychological suspense.
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Come early to enjoy live tango music beginning at 5:45 PM from the Ben Thomas Trio and if you're so inclined, dress as a hard-boiled anti-hero or a femme fatale for the occasion.
SIFF vouchers are not valid for this screening.
"I am going to kill a man. I don't know his name, I don't know where he lives, I have no idea what he looks like. But I am going to find him and kill him ..." Thus begins Nicholas Blake's 1936 novel, a landmark in literary crime fiction, combining the first-person noir narrative of a would-be murderer with a traditional detective story. For many years, cinephiles believed the novel's sole screen adaptation was Claude Chabrol's Que la bête meure (1969). With this world premiere restoration, the Film Noir Foundation resurrects the true first cinema adaptation. The script sidelines Blake's detective, Nigel Strangeways, to focus on the bereaved father (Ibánez Menta) whose son has been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Menta, Argentina's Boris Karloff, was known mostly for horror and fantasy, but his performance as a man craving vengeance is noir to the core. Stunning camerawork by Alberto Etchebehere abets Viñoly Barreto's dynamic direction, which can now be fully appreciated in this gorgeous restoration.
35mm restoration by UCLA Film & Television Archive, funded by the Film Noir Foundation, with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust). Special thanks to Fernando Martín Peña, Luis Scallela, and Argentina Sono Films.
- Original Language Title: La bestia debe morir
- Director: Román Viñoly Barreto
- Principal Cast: Narcisco Ibánez Menta, Laura Hidalgo, Guillermo Battaglia, Milagros de la Vega, Nathán Pinzón, Ernesto Bianco, Humberto Belado, Bebe Bidart, Josefa Goldar, Jesús Pampin, Amalia Bernabé
- Country: Argentina
- Year: 1952
- Running Time: 104 minutes
- Producer: Laura Hidalgo, Román Viñoly Barreto
- Screenplay: Narciso Ibánez Menta, Román Viñoly Barreto
- Cinematographers: Alberto Etchebehere
- Language: Spanish
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: 35mm