Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: L’Uccello Dalle Piume di Cristallo
Italy/West Germany, 1970. Central Cinema Company Film, Glazier, Seda Spettacoli. Screenplay by Dario Argento, based on the novel by Fredric Brown. Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Produced by Salvatore Argento. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Dario Micheli. Costume Design by Dario Micheli. Film Editing by Franco Fraticelli.
An American writer visiting Rome walks by an art gallery and witnesses a woman being stabbed, blocked from helping her by giant glass doors (in one of the film’s many ingenious sequences) but at least scaring the would-be murderer off and saving the woman from death. The crime is part of a long line of killings of young women in the city, and before long the man is obsessed with finding the criminal and catching him, even though it brings a great deal of danger to him and his beautiful girlfriend (a wonderful Suzy Kendall). This debut film by Dario Argento, considered one of the cornerstones of the years of giallo horror films to follow, is probably not going to scare the crap out of anyone who watches it, but the superb plotting and marvelous direction make it a gem to last the ages, while the sequence that justifies the title is outstanding.