Death of a Cyclist (1955): Juan Antonio Bardem’s Social Realist Spanish Drama

Death of a Cyclist (Spanish: Muerte de un ciclista), a social realist Spanish drama directed by Juan Antonio Bardem, stars Italian actress Lucia Bosè (dubbed into Spanish by Elsa Fábregas).

Death of a Cyclist
Muerte de un ciclista.JPG

Spanish theatrical release poster

The film won the FIPRESCI Award at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.

While returning to Madrid after an illicit tryst, a wealthy socialite housewife and a university professor accidentally strike a bicyclist with their car. Though they see he is still alive after the accident, they drive away and leave him to die.

After the bicyclist’s death is reported, the pair deal with ever-rising tension, borne from their fear that their deeds will be exposed.

Lucia Bosè as María José de Castro
Alberto Closas as Juan Fernandez Soler
Otello Toso as Miguel Castro
Bruna Corra as Matilde Luque
Carlos Casaravilla as Rafael “Rafa” Sandoval
Manuel Alexandre as cyclist


Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem
Produced by Manuel Goyanes
Screenplay by Bardem, story by Luis Fernando de Igoa

Distributed by Janus Films

Release date May 9, 1955 (Cannes Film Festival)
Running time: 88 minutes