Leopoldo Torre Nilsson was probably the best film director in Argentina. He was a man with a vision. He was the one that elevated the local cinema and put it on the map in the late 50s and early 60s. He almost always worked on screen plays based on his wife, Beatriz Guido's novels, as is the case here.
This gothic tale of hidden monsters and well kept secrets among the provincial bourgeoisie had more impact for me the first time I watched it. On second viewing what seemed so eerie before doesn't hold true any more.
The Lavignes, one of the patrician families of the town, having lost their fortune, are now living humbly making dresses for the moneyed classes still around. They make exquisite work. They don't lack clients, as it's evident by the visits from their wealthy locals.
Into this household Laura arrives for a summer vacation. She feels the spookiness that surrounds the household and she wants to get to the truth behind the closed door of the room on the third floor. She will find out the horrible secret the family has kept hidden from everyone in town. When she discovers what really happened many years ago, it will already be too late to rebel from a fate far worse than what originally happened to a member of the family. Shame, honor and the fear of ridicule played a major part in this story and sealed the fate of the family.
The beautiful Elsa Daniel plays Laura, the young girl at the center of the story. She is a beautiful presence among the darkness around her. A younger Francisco Rabal plays the aristocratic member of another patrician family of the town. Maria Rosa Gallo plays the enigmatic woman at the center of the secret.
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