Thursday, May 7, 2009

La Ragazza che sapeva troppo (The Girl Who Knew Too Much)

(1963, It, 92m, b/w)
d/ph Mario Bava p Massimo De Rita sc Mario Bava, Enzo Corbucci, Ennio De Concini, Eliana De Sabata, Mino Guerrini, Franco Prosperi ed Mario Serandrei ad Giorgio Giovanni m Roberto Nicolosi, Les Baxter cast Léticía Roman, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos, Milo Quesada, Robert Buchanan

Or, The Girl Who Saw Too Much (But Didn’t Know Enough): time and again, appearances are deceptive for Nora, a young American in Rome entangled in a murder mystery. But what appearances – terrific photography (by Bava himself) drenches the film in chiaroscuro, with wide angles, deep focus, and a Wellesian eye for old European architecture that amply shores up the rather silly plot (Nora witnesses a murder and seems to be next on the list). Only an otiose voiceover jars, while Bava keeps us guessing with a cast of highly suspicious characters (led by “Dr” John Saxon) and a high quota of truly striking moments (eerie bare lightbulbs in a white hallway; a string and talcum powder trap; Langian bullet-hole shafts of light), whilst still finding time for cheerful ogling of his leading lady’s shapely gams and a nice priest gag on which to end.

© Time Out Film Guide

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