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(aka "Chi l'ha vista morire?" or "The Child" or "Qui l'a vue mourir?")

 

directed by Aldo Lado
Italy/France 1972

 

Sculptor Franco (George Lazenby, one-shot James Bond of ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE) is living and working in Venice when his daughter Roberta (Nicoletta Elmi, BARON BLOOD and THE CURSED MEDALLION) visits from London where she has been living with her mother. Upon her arrival, Roberta becomes the object of interest to a mysterious veiled old woman clad in black who stalks her through the city. When Franco leaves her to play with the other town children in order to have a dalliance with Gabriella (Rosemarie Lindt, EMANUELLE'S REVENGE), the girl disappears only to turn up murdered. Although ex-wife Elizabeth (Anita Strindberg, A LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN) is sympathetic, guilt-ridden, Franco pursues his own investigation of the killing which may be related to the murder of another red-haired girl the previous year; the aftermath of which peripherally involved several members of Franco's artsy circle including benefactor Serafian (Adolfo Celi, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE), his mistress Ginevra (Dominique Boschero, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK), her bisexual boyfriend Phillip (Peter Chatel, CAMILLE 2000), and lawyer Bonaiuti (Josť Quaglio, THE CONFORMIST) who themselves are soon stalked by the woman in black. Parallels with DON'T LOOK NOW have previously been noted but the script is much more straightforward, the threat less ambiguous, and the couple's grief over their lost child at the forefront rather than underlining their everyday actions. The flash-cut editing of Angelo Curi is also more direct in its clues at certain points (while at others, it functions as a fancy way of transitioning between scenes). The red herrings are a bit obvious (even if Roberta might have been murdered for something she overheard, that would not have explained the veiled old lady stalker). Director Lado had previously helmed the giallo SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS after serving as assistant director on Bertolucci's THE CONFORMIST (which also featured Quaglio and Alessandro Haber who plays a priest here). Franco De Giacomo (FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET) - with NOSTALGHIA's cinematographer Giuseppe Lanci as camera operator - Techniscope photography aides Lado in creating a lived-in Venice (as opposed the city-wide museum seen in other films) although it is always conveniently empty for the stalking scenes. The lead performances suffer somewhat with Lazenby not particularly compelling and the beautiful Strindberg dubbed rather thickly but Elmi is used effectively here as in her other genre films. Associate producer Ovidio Assonitis went on to make a career in international exploitation films (usually utilizing Italian crew) including BEYOND THE DOOR, PIRANHA II, AMOK TRAIN, and CHOKE CANYON among many others and co-scenarist Francesco Barilli helmed two little scene but strong Italian thriller entries HOTEL OF FEAR and PERFUME OF A LADY IN BLACK.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:21
Video

2.28:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.28:1

Edition Details:
• Death in Venice: Interview with Aldo Lado (16:9; 11:10)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:12)
• Aldo Lado Filmography

DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 24

 

Comments

Blue Underground's DVD is a direct port of Anchor Bay's (HERE) now out-of-print 2002 edition (available separately or in a box set with Lado's SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS, Antonio Bido's BLOODSTAINED SHADOW [also set in Venice], and box set exclusive title CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS by Guiliano Carmineo) which featured a single-layer progressive, anamorphic transfer with English dubbed mono audio.

The disc also includes an interview with Aldo Lado (originally produced by Blue Underground for the Anchor Bay release). The film's theatrical trailer bears the English export title while the film itself features Italian credits and title card (as do all DVD editions currently). In the UK, Shameless Screen Entertainment has also released an anamorphic edition of the film using the same master. While it is reportedly not as sharp as the US editions, it does include a few seconds more of one murder scene (7 stabs versus 5) and subtitles for the Italian-language choral lyrics of Ennio Morricone's score (the Anchor Bay/Blue Underground editions only subtitle some onscreen Italian text). The German Eyecatcher Movies edition (under the title THE CHILD) also features the English track and the complete soundtrack.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

 



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