The Machine to Kill Bad People

The Machine to Kill Bad People (Italian: La Macchina ammazzacattivi) is a 1952 Italian fantasy comedy film directed by Roberto Rossellini and featuring Marilyn Buferd, William Tubbs and Clara Bindi.[1] It is part of the tradition of neorealism of the post-war years.[2] Having helped neorealism gain international recognition with his 1945 work Rome, Open City, Rossellini was trying to branch out into different styles.[3]

The Machine to Kill Bad People
Directed byRoberto Rossellini
Produced bySalvo D'Angelo
Written bySergio Amidei
Giancarlo Vigorelli
Franco Brusati
Liana Ferri
Roberto Rossellini
Giuseppe Marotta
Eduardo Marotta
StarringMarilyn Buferd
William Tubbs
Clara Bindi
Music byRenzo Rossellini
CinematographyEnrico Betti Berutto
Tino Santoni
Edited byJolanda Benvenuti
Tevere Film
Universalia Film
Release date
14 May 1952
Running time
80 minutes


Rossellini began shooting the film in 1948, but production was beset by many problems.[4] Location shooting took place around Amalfi, Salerno and Trani.


A stranger claiming to be Saint Andrea gives to the village photographer a magic camera with the power to destroy the wicked. When it becomes apparent that no one is immune the photographer turns the device on the giver, who is unmasked as a devil and forced to return everyone to life.



  1. Nowell-Smith p.104
  2. Wagstaff p.437
  3. Bondanella p.83-86
  4. Brunette p.101


  • Peter, Bondanella. The Films of Roberto Rossellini. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Brunette, Peter. Roberto Rossellini. University of California Press, 1996.
  • Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey . The Companion to Italian Cinema. Cassell, 1996.
  • Wagstaff, Christopher. Italian Neorealist Cinema: An Aesthetic Approach. University of Toronto Press, 2007.

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