The Conspiracy of Torture (1969) Script

The carts are coming!

The carts are coming!

Marina! Agnese! The carts are coming!

The carts are coming! Let's come and see it, girls!

The carts are coming!

What are they doing, building the scaffold?

A nice execution to watch, at last!

Unload the cart, quick.

Let's get a move on!

Come on!

Hurry up!

Come on!

Everyone back!

Stay back!

Is it true they're going to execute a cenci?

We know even less than you, lady.

All four of them? That's what I heard.

One of the priests that comforts people sentenced to death told me.

And he really mentioned the cenci family?

Yes, two in Tor di nona and two in corte savella.

Yes, that was correct.

Two in Tor di nona and two in corte savella.

Some time later, the comforters went to both prisons.

One group went to Tor di nona, where giacomo and Bernardo cenci had been imprisoned.

The other group went to corte savella, where Beatrice and her stepmother lucrezia were kept.

The rumors were true.

According to the customs of the time, a copy of the sentence...

Had been sent to prospero farinaccio, the lawyer who had been in charge of the defence.

The eminent lawyer was now reading it to his colleagues:

Giorgio diedi, rutilio altieri and planca di coronata.

So, it looks like that young bernando will also have to go to the scaffold.

But only to witness the others' death.

After that he'll be locked away for one year.

And then he'll become a galley slave on the papal ships for the rest of his life.

Can this be considered an act of clemency?

His life will become a constant torment.

Death will be his only relief.

Don't get so upset, esteemed colleagues, one can't win every case.

And you, farinaccio, finish reading the sentence.

Is it really necessary? No, it's useless.

It's always the same old story, after all.

Their total assets and goods will be seized.

That's how it works.

All their goods, their assets and their properties...

Will be confiscated and handed over to the papal treasury.

That's 500.000 scudi coins for the treasury.

Beatrice is innocent!

No! No!





Yes, I understand.

The execution will be carried out tomorrow morning.

Madam, your stepmother and your sister will be beheaded.

You, sir giacomo cenci, will be tortured with hot irons, bludgeoned with a mallet and then publicly quartered.

Kiss it, you wicked woman, kiss the image of our lord Jesus Christ.

He who was innocently crucified and suffered much more than you're doing.

Ask Saint Paul to forgive your many sins, as he was also beheaded.

Beg him to assist you during your final moments.

Ask god for forgiveness.

How dare you pray so peacefully, after the terrible way you offended god?

There's no sign of remorse in your devotion.

And, without remorse, you'll be condemned for all eternity.

You're here to comfort us, brothers.

The only comfort we can give to your soul is to take it away from Satan.

God will never absolve a parricide woman who doesn't truly repent for her murder.

Ciro di ponte should have concealed his identity.

Are you sure ciro di ponte is at francesco cenci's service?

I'm sure of it, we all recognized him.

It was him. He did it after his master ordered him to.

Cenci took the girl when she was only fourteen.

Her father found out where cenci kept her and what she went through.

He freed her once many of us went to confront him.

But he told tommaso he'd have made him pay for it.

Why would have he waited more than a year to do so?

Because tommaso talked to prince colonna, who promised him protection.

Tommaso told cenci who kept a low profile.

Are you going to put him in prison now?

This matter doesn't concern you.

If I were as cruel as people say, I'd leave him to die in agony.

But I'll be merciful.

Finish him off.

Do it.

Your excellency... - I guess you know nothing of his whereabouts.

He never tells us. - Pray we won't have to use torture to get more out of you.

Your excellency...

A bargello officer in the cenci's home...

What brings you here?

I'm here to arrest lord francesco, your master.

Are you one of his henchmen?

I wish I could say so.

But, unfortunately, I'm...

I'm his son.

That's right.

I'm his oldest son.

I guess I'm not appropriately dressed.

But you should tell my father.

If you're able to find him.

You have the duty to collaborate with justice, even if you are his son.

Even more so then, I'd say.

Is there any child of francesco cenci that loves his father?

No, my friend. He hates us all.

And we repay him with the same love.

He only spends his money to pay the scoundrels he uses for his bad deeds, just like the one he committed last night.

This time, though, he stepped on prince colonna's feet.

Something that'd get the pope's attention.

As long as cenci doesn't manage to escape.

We need to strike while the iron is hot.

My father knows that, that's the reason why he left Rome.

Well, I don't want to sound like a spy, but I'd look for him around rocca di petrella if I were you.

Your excellency, I bid you welcome on behalf of everyone.

I thank god for your good health, francesco.

And do you also thank me for coming back?

Of course. Then you've already lied two times.

What about you, Beatrice? Why don't you greet me?

I bowed my head.

I believe quietly paying my respects would be more sensible.

Very good.

Always hold your viper's tongue and we'll manage to get along.

Can I greet you, father? You've just done it.

And you, chaplain? Any pleas to convince me to repair the church's roof?

No, lord francesco. I just wanted to know about your sons living away.

Giacomo, my oldest one, is as healthy as ever.

I was talking about Rocco and cristoforo.

Oh, those two...

I must admit I'm quite pleased about them.

It's been a long time since they stopped constantly asking me for money.

And I hope giacomo will follow their example.

Are they coming back from Spain?

I have no idea.

Your father fears the guards are coming here to put him in chains.

Did they talk about that in your presence?

No, they weren't aware I was listening.

It'll be the end for you if my father finds out you told someone.

I only told you in order to make you decide what to do next.

What to do about what?

You told me about a plea you sent to the pope through your brother giacomo.

If your father ended in prison and stopped tormenting you,

would you still confine yourself in a convent?

If my father stopped tormenting us,

even there I'd find more peace in a convent than anywhere else in the world.

But, madam,

forgive me for saying this, life doesn't just revolves around peace.

They say it's also made of happiness and love.

Why would you be willing to give that up forever?

Olimpio, I'll never forget our friendship.

Just like I won't forget how you accepting this friendship made me feel.

For this evening, at least, let's call things by their true name.

That's impossible.

You're a cenci and I'm your servant.

If you read my heart and realized what I feel for you, then forget it.

I would have summoned you if you hadn't come here, because I can finally announce you some good news.

Your sister's wish will be granted.

I presented myself her plea to the pope, and he was kind enough to accept it.

You, cardinal, are the benefactor of my family.

And none is more obliged to you than my father.

Wrong, my friend.

Your father can't count on me anymore.

If that's the true reason of your visit, then destroy his illusion.

How can you believe my father sent me?

Francesco cenci only seeks alliances with scoundrels.

I know I look like one, thanks to his stinginess, but my soul is different.

Thank god for it.

I'm just curious, but I noticed everyone in Rome has been talking about him, lately.

I would like to know the truth about it.

The truth is that the holy father is outraged, and rightly so.

They say that colonna is fanning the pope's flames. - The pope isn't guided...

By prince colonna, but by the holy spirit.

It's fair, after all.

When someone breaks the rules like your father did, the culprit's punishment should set an example.

Don't get your hands dirty.

Justice will be done.

The sentence will have him shed the most bitter tears.

Look! Look if they forgot about me!

And I fell into this trap like an idiot!

What did you wanted to do? Go into hiding?

It's hard to live a bandit's life. Because you think living a...

A prisoner's life would be easier, you idiot?

That many soldiers only to extort money from me!

I already knew one of the pope's nephews sent an architect to my vineyards...

To study the land in order to build a villa on it!

I damn pope aldobrandini and all his kin!

You should damn Satan for making you sin.

And you should put Satan on an altar, as he constantly provides you with sinners.

The ones whose riches you milk.

You know that the porta pinciana fief accounts for a third of my fortune!

You should be thankful for that.

Once you'll be less wealthy, you'll also be less prone to commit bad deeds.

You want to make me believe that you're only trying to save my soul?

No. No.

Consider it as an extreme measure taken against your person.

As it will hurt what you love the most: Your material possessions.

Due to your natural stinginess, this punishment will be harsh enough, that's what I told the pope to convince him.

But I assure you he was more inclined to imprison you.


I already went to prison in the past!

And it cost me a lot less!

I believe that.

Impunity is much less expensive when it comes to justice's lower circles.

But the court had to take on your case after what you did this time.

It's only natural that you'll have to pay a higher price for your crimes.

Think about it, we ask for a third of your fortune. It's not too much, after all.

That was a very difficult shot.

You're right.

And a very nice boar indeed.

You only hit it because I missed it, though.

You've hit other targets recently, isn't that right, monsignor?

It's easy when there's so much game around.

Good for me, then, or I'd have to live on a diet of bread and water, after you leeched my money.

The bread of freedom is priceless.

You can't compare a cell at Tor di nona or corte savella...

With the woods of petrella and this fresh air.

Finish your business here and get me a safe conduct.

I've had enough of this fresh air!

I'm afraid the air of Rome will be unbreathable for you this whole summer.

The whole summer? You mean I can't return to Rome?

Wasn't taking my money enough? You want to exile me now?

To each his own, my friend.

The fief of porta pinciana will be given to the treasury.

But the people will ask for something.

They don't ask for much, those poor people.

Not seeing you for a while will be enough for them.

Very well.

But I want to make this clear...

It'll only be until Autumn. Your excellency...

I want to be there when the pope's nephew...

Will lay the first stone of his new villa.

Any more bad news, monsignor, or was this the last one?

Beatrice's calling should make you happy, as much as it pleased the pope.

Is that a wish or an order?

The difference is minimal, seeing that it's coming from the holy father.

He's really overdoing it!

He takes a third of my fortune, he forces me to stay here for the whole summer...

And now he wants me to renounce to my beloved daughter, who has insanely thought to spend her life chanting in a convent.

If the pope needs more nuns, why doesn't he spawn a daughter and send her to a convent?

The angels are deaf to your profanities.

Because both you and them don't want to listen!

You'll tell the pope he can count, as always, on the obedience of his devoted servant francesco cenci.

You sent a plea to the "holy fool" to have me allow you to join a convent.

Well, I gave my word I'd have granted your wish.

Come in.

Get in!

Have a good look.

It's not that different from a convent cell.

Something missing?

Yes, something's missing. A crucifix.

You'll have one.

And you'll stay here until the day I die.

How did the master die?

A tragedy. He fell from a parapet.

A parapet of the walls outside, close to the ditch.

You returned in time to attend the funeral.

Even a cenci wouldn't survive that kind of jump.

When did it happen?

The other night. People say he had drunk a lot.

Perhaps he leaned on the parapet...

As he was trying to get some fresh air.

The railing broke and he fell.

This wood isn't rotten.

That isn't an important detail, in my opinion.

Sometimes wood breaks even if it isn't rotten, you know.


What are you doing with that coat?

Give, it's mine!

It's mine! Stop! It's so beautiful!

You gave it to me as a gift!



Do you hear me, catalan?

Wake up!

Get up!

Get up!

Catalan, it's me, olimpio.

Do you recognize me?

I told you he was a bandit! I'm afraid, let's leave!

Are you listening now?

Are you listening?

Gasparo returned today.

He's suspicious, he even left already. We're afraid, we must follow him.

Which road did he take? The one to Rome.

It's not for me.

Too many guards over there.

I hope two esteemed men like you will forgive me, but, given my physical constitution, I'm practically done for if the fire goes out.

So, the cenci family, as I was telling you, and I mean the widow and her two stepsons, came to Rome in late October.

Lord francesco died in mid-September, it seems.

Barely the time to deal with the luggage.

This detail is also mentioned in the denunciation letter.

Can I see it?

But we told you all the essential facts.

I know, but I'm just curious about the writing style.

You're tasked with finding the culprits, if there are any, not who wrote the letter.

Of course, your excellency, of course.

However, if I managed to find out who's against the cenci family...

It's not necessary to be an enemy of the cenci in order to be a friend of justice.

Naturally, of course.

But no one would write an anonymous letter without something in return.

And it looks like the work of a man of letters, and, if you want my humble opinion, I don't think it could have been done by someone uneducated.

I think you'll solve this riddle going to rocca di petrella. - Yes, without a doubt!

Of course, I'll have to get there...

With this cold weather...

With the bandits...

I'd require an escort... You'll leave as soon as possible.

Your excellency, I only require the time to prepare my clothes.

There's already snow in the apennines during November.

It makes me really ill.

Very well, go prepare your clothes.

But try not to take the whole winter for that, understand?

Your excellencies...

Shouldn't we have put the case in the hands of a more vigorous bargello officer?

You don't know him. Let him work his own way.


Crossing the apennines in this freezing cold...

Yes, indeed.

A bloodstained sheet.

Lady Beatrice sent it to a washerwoman.

Did you know about this?

No, sir.

I'm the bargello officer, you see...

Nobody tells a bargello officer anything.

People feel more inclined to talk to a stranger, someone who's just passing by, like...

A merchant, a tooth-puller or a coal-man.

People confess everything to those kind of fellows.

That's the reason why I never rush a case.

First, I send a few of my men.

Disguised, of course.

Disguised as coal-men, merchants or tooth-pullers.

Get it?

So, when I arrive, I already know a lot of things.

No, I don't think so.

I reckon you know more than anyone. No, I assure you...

Yes, yes. You and your bandit friend, the one with the coat. What's his name again?

A bandit with a coat?

I don't know anything.

After cenci's death, people saw said bandit going around wearing a very familiar coat.

A coat that belonged to the deceased.

Moreover, the bandit started spending quite freely.

How did he manage to get rich so suddenly?

Do you know anything about it?

I believe you're talking about marzio floriani, is that right?

The one they call "the catalan".

Of course. I haven't seen him in a long time.

You're lying again.

No, I... You were seen together multiple times.

Two whores claim you went looking for him in the cave he uses as a hideout.

I guess you had a good reason to go there.

Why don't you tell me?

We'll see if the catalan will be as quiet as you are.

Search the area!

There he is! After him!

Too bad the bargello wanted him alive.

Rope torture would make a mute speak, you know.

You have a working tongue, use it.


Stop! Stop!




Pull him down.


Is this the prisoner they brought from petrella?

Yes, your excellency, the one involved in the cenci case.

He's stubborn, your excellency. Very much so.

How much rope torture did he endure?

A lot. His shoulders are broken.

Try something different.

If you had any common sense, you'd make the clerk work instead of us.

Some moments of happiness are so precious one'd pay them with his own life.

But my life wouldn't be worth enough to buy back your love.

I wish a good greater than life existed.

In order for you to ask me to gift it to you.

This good exists.

Tell me what it is.

I could only tell you if I didn't love you.

Forget that you love me, then.

Whatever this thing is, remember that I'm ready to give my life for you.

It's impossible, olimpio.

No one can dispose of his life against god's will.

People can sacrifice their life out of love.

But only their earthly life.

Not their eternal life.

Heaven is what you're giving me here on this earth.

But is it worth eternal damnation?

It would mean damning your soul forever, if I begged you...

Fo free me from the hell on earth I'm enduring.

How can I free you?

There's only one way.

It happened the day after the cardinal left.

Your father was furious over your sister's wish to become a nun...

And locked her in a dungeon.

And I know why he let her out of it.

Yes. And that's why your sister decided to...

What I mean is, this is why...

Your sister developed this terrible desire.

I know what she asked you to do, if that's what you're trying to tell me.

I already talked to Beatrice. It was the right thing to do.

I'm the older brother, I had to give her my opinion.

And you... what's your opinion on this matter, then?

Since we're talking about my father, I don't see anything terrible about this desire.

You'll have to handle it by yourselves.

I'll be in Rome.

My presence would just arouse suspicions.

Why should we wait until early September?

Because that's when lord francesco collects the money from his fief in calabria.

He'll send a loyal henchman named gasparo who's always by his side.

Gasparo's presence could make things more complicated, you get it?

Very well.

Sir giacomo!

Take this.

It's just a little advance.

You'll get more once the job's done.

I'm ready whenever you want. You can find me here.

Over there.


I'll signal you from that window.

He didn't drink more than he usually does.

It's nothing.

He's more tired than usual, perhaps.

Go get some sleep.

Shall we remove his clothes? No.

It's better to leave him alone.

Cover him.


Why the nails?

You can't use a knife if you want to make it look like an accident.


One nail for you, the other for me.

You have to do it alone, that's why we're paying you! Go on!

Just do it!

I killed many, but never anyone sleeping.

It's easier this way!

Use it as your advantage! Go on!

It's an act of cowardice.


He says he can't kill a man in his sleep.

If my father were awake, you wouldn't even be brave enough to look him in the face.

And you think of yourselves as men?

If you're such cowards, I'll do it myself.

No, not you.

We'll do it.

Go, then.

Let's go.

You too.

I did it.

I'm going on the parapet.


I'm taking this, he won't need it anymore.

Hurry up, now.

We have to wrap in a sheet and carry him on the parapet.



Give us a hand.

What's the boy doing here?

"Then we threw the body from the parapet,”

"to make it look like cenci fell when the wood broke."

"Everything went exactly as planned."

Olimpio calvetti's confession condemns you.

Thanks to him, we know that you're guilty, too.

That man is insane. You dare deny your crime?

I deny. I deny.

I don't know anything about what happened.

Are you also denying you and calvetti were lovers, like he claimed?

It wouldn't be the first time a servant bragged about this kind of thing.

We'll see who's lying between you two.

This lady refutes your confession.

She says you're the sole culprit.

She claims to be innocent and as pure as a Lily flower.

She told you the truth.

What? What did you say?

Speak up, I can't hear you.

Speak. Say what you have to say.

I seek your forgiveness, lady, from the bottom of my soul, for all the lies I said.

Forgive me.

I feel ashamed of not having been able to endure the pain...

Thus telling them all sort of lies.

The sort of lies the magistrates wanted to hear.

You scoundrel! You're mocking us!

I declare that the lady is innocent.

And I call god, our lord, as my only judge.

Leave god out of this.

Retracting your confession was blasphemous enough.

I'm the sole murderer of francesco cenci.

I deny with all my strength of having murdered him through his daughter's will.

Take her away.

She really bewitched you!

You don't even realize she gave you her body like a morsel thrown to a dog!

Your mere illusion of love only made a tool out of you!

And yet you want to save her!

She didn't give me neither her body nor illusions.

She didn't lie about me.

But I lied to you.

Before or after, you lied for sure.

You gave us two truths.

But only the first one can be true!

And you're going to repeat it, word after word!

This is nothing compared to what you'll suffer in hell if you keep not talking.

It's useless.

He's already there, making the comparison.


How dare someone do such a thing to a servant of the pope's nephew.

It's just like offending the pope himself!

I know this man.

He was with the aldobrandini family for about a year.

I see. I doubt his master won't be pleased to hear that...

That he impaled himself on a blade after falling off a carriage.

He previously served the cenci family.

What was his name? Gasparo, right?

He was also at rocca di petrella.

Plenty of things to tell his new master, I reckon.

Then, he just became useless.

Give him a burial.

He died after falling off a carriage.

But he has a wound on his back...

Well, it's not uncommon, nowadays in Rome, to impale yourself on a blade...

After falling off a carriage.

Write the report as I said, then recite the act of contrition.

An officer should never be that suspicious.

People who don't confess their sins keep them locked inside their souls, and thus they will face god as sinners.

What else could god do other than hand you to the devils...

Who will keep on tormenting you for all eternity?

Have pity on your soul, even if you have none for your flesh.


Speak, come on!

It's not innocence making you so strong, but it's Satan himself!

All this suffering is useless, dear sister.

Because we've been much weaker than you.

If it must happen like this,

so be it.

It's not my fault...

It's them that...

Wanted to cover our family name in shame.

I would have died a hundred times under torture,

always denying, denying until my last breath of life.

But if I have to endure the infamy...

Of being condemned as a parricide,

then I'm compelled to reveal you the secret...

That I was adamant to take to my grave.

You're free to leave, gorgeous lady!

After you!

Did you hear me? You're free!

Come see the light outside, come on.

Come on.

Come on.

Seeing the daylight after such a long time will do you good.

You weren't expecting this, huh?

Your father was so happy that a certain thing happened that he forgave you.

Where are the women?

As a matter of fact, despite what the chaplain might say, money is the real staple to human happiness.

My profit revolves around an income, let's call it that way,

that I'll keep on receiving as long as I'll be living in this valley of tears, which only money can make more worth living.

If my dear chaplain doesn't mind it, of course.

Step in, girls! Come on!

Come to us!

Not bad at all.


Move it.

Look what I got here for you, look at this beauty!

Show us your goods!

There's a thousand ways to make money!

Imagine you had a hole in your pocket for years, without even realizing it.

And the day you finally mend it, you find yourself way richer!

Way richer with the money you'd have continued to lose...

If you didn't mend that hole in your pocket.

Sit down and show us!

Yes, like this! Show us what you look like!

It's fair, don't you think?

Isn't it fair to call this an income?

Don't cry, mother, it'd make him mad.

Where's Beatrice?

Upstairs. She's dressing up just like you ordered.

You didn't tell her the true reason behind this celebration, right?

I did.

You idiotic beast!

I was waiting for her before announcing the good news!

You could have told me.

Oh, really? It's useless to keep them curious, then!

Friends, I'll now tell you the reason behind this little celebration.

I heard that my second and third sons, Rocco and cristoforo, won't ever come back from salamanca.

That's because they both died of smallpox.

Let's celebrate!

A good Christian should always be grateful to god for his kindness.

You get it? I have two less useless mouths to feed, both gone in a single strike!

That's one big burden off my shoulders!

Heaven itself mended the hole in my pocket!

You're the most ungrateful daughter there is.

I cancel your punishment, I even invite you to my celebration to share my happiness...

And yet you dare to appear wearing those jinxed clothes.

You're ungrateful.

And you're also impudent!

I'm only a sister who mourns her brothers by wearing black.

You chose the wrong time and the wrong place to wear black.

Go change your clothes, you black harbinger of bad luck.

Dress up accordingly for a celebration.

And make yourself beautiful.

Your two sons are dead, a toast to us.

What are you doing still dressed like that?

Answer me.

What did I tell you to do?

If seeing my mourning dress offends you that much, why don't you send me back to where I was?

I told you to take this dress off and to wear your best one.

Obey me!



If, in that very moment, she had a weapon in her hands...

And used it to kill that monster,

wouldn't all of you have acquitted her without hesitation?

Wouldn't you have recognized and admitted...

That she was only defending her honor and purity?

Sure! That animal deserved to die! She did the right thing!

Everyone in Rome agrees.

Everyone who? Well, the people... the citizens.

And since when the people are allowed to judge cases?

It'd make things much easier for us lawyers.

They believe everything Beatrice said.

They'd make her a Saint! But that's the truth!

She's a Saint!

The truth...

Do you always tell the truth if you swear on a crucifix?

What wouldn't any of us swear under those circumstances, in order to save our life?

What I know is that all the cenci are accused of the murder.

And when an entire family gets condemned, the apostolic chamber seizes all their fortune.

And the cenci family owns a substantial fortune.

It's about 500.000 scudi coins.

"Her honor and purity..."


When some disgraced individual breaks the limits that nature and god...

Imposed between a father and his daughter, when said father doesn't love his daughter, because he wants to ravish her flesh and soul, doesn't this man deserve to die?

Pray for your soul.

May god have mercy on you.

Is everything going as decided in the sentence?

Yes, your holiness. The condemned are at church and almost finished attending mass.

They'll get on the scaffold after that.

Giacomo first, then lucrezia and Beatrice.

The citizens are all very moved.

And so are we.

That's why we ordered you to do that thing.

It will be done.

I posted two men on the parapet of castel sant'Angelo.

They'll signal you with a torch once Beatrice will be beheaded.

And in that very moment we'll absolve her soul.

Leave us alone.

According to the chroniclers of the time, that the pope was surprised and even appalled...

To hear that Beatrice's body, brought that night to the church of San Pietro in montorio, had been followed by a great crowd of people...

Who didn't sing nor prayed but wept in silence.

For weeks and months, flowers brought by everyone in Rome covered her grave.

Bernardo was freed the following Tuesday.

The company of San marcello, who had the privilege of freeing a prisoner...

In occasion of the celebration of the holy cross, managed to Grant him freedom upon the condition that he paid, during that year, 25.000 scudi coins to the company of Santa trinita in ponte sisto.

The seizure of the cenci family's fortune was revoked eight years later, through the payment of 80.000 scudi coins.

Their properties were given back to giacomo's children, with the exception of the huge torre Nova estate which couldn't be returned...

As it had been acquired by Giovanni francesco aldobrandini, the pope's nephew.