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La ragazza che sapeva troppo
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The Evil Eye (1963) More at IMDbPro »La ragazza che sapeva troppo (original title)

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Mario Bava (writer)
Enzo Corbucci (writer)
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Release Date:
20 May 1964 (USA) See more »
What Does It Want? What Will Satisfy Its Cravings?
A tourist witnesses a murder and finds herself caught up in a series of bloody killings. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(22 articles)
User Reviews:
Bava's first Giallo; a minor-masterpiece of style and energy See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Letícia Román ... Nora Davis

John Saxon ... Dr. Marcello Bassi

Valentina Cortese ... Laura Craven-Torrani
Titti Tomaino ... Inspector
Luigi Bonos ... Albergo Stelletta
Milo Quesada ... De Vico / Paccini
Robert Buchanan ... Dr. Alessi
Marta Melocco ... Murder Victim
Gustavo De Nardo ... Dr. Facchetti
Lucia Modugno ... Nurse
Giovanni Di Benedetto ... Professor Torrani (as Gianni De Benedetto)
Franco Morici ... Policeman
Virginia Doro ... Torrani's Maid
Dante DiPaolo ... Andrea Landini (as Dante Di Paolo)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chana Coubert ... Ethel Windell Batocci (uncredited)
Jim Dolen ... Priest (uncredited)
Adriana Facchetti ... Woman in Sguattera Restaurant (uncredited)
Dafydd Havard ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Tiberio Murgia ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Peggy Nathan ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Lido Pini ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Franco Ressel ... Arresting Officer at Airport (uncredited)
John Stacy ... Bit Part (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mario Bava 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mario Bava  writer
Enzo Corbucci  writer
Ennio De Concini  writer
Eliana De Sabata  writer
Mino Guerrini  writer
Franco Prosperi  writer

Produced by
Massimo De Rita .... producer
Original Music by
Les Baxter (US version)
Roberto Nicolosi 
Cinematography by
Mario Bava 
Film Editing by
Mario Serandrei 
Art Direction by
Giorgio Giovannini 
Set Decoration by
Luigi D'Andria 
Costume Design by
Tina Grani  (as Tina Loriedo Grani)
Makeup Department
Mara Rocchetti .... hair stylist
Euclide Santoli .... makeup artist
Production Management
Paolo Mercuri .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Enrico Checchi .... second assistant director
Franco Prosperi .... assistant director
Art Department
Emilio Schuberth .... set dresser
Camera and Electrical Department
Ubaldo Terzano .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Lina Caterini .... assistant editor
Other crew
Armando Govoni .... production assistant
Neda Matteucci .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La ragazza che sapeva troppo" - Italy (original title)
See more »
86 min | France:88 min | Spain:83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Cameo: [Mario Bava]in a portrait as Nora's uncle whom she covers with a sheet (Cut from the European prints).See more »
Nora Davis:[into the phone] Oh mother, murders don't just happen like that here.See more »
FuroreSee more »


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Bava's first Giallo; a minor-masterpiece of style and energy, 15 July 2008
Author: Graham Greene from United Kingdom

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) is director Mario Bava's gleeful homage to Hitchcock; and one of the earliest examples of the Italian Giallo sub-genre of horror/suspense cinema that would go on to inspire an entire generation of horror filmmakers throughout the subsequent two decades. If you're at all familiar with the work of director Dario Argento for example, then you can see the roots of films like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Deep Red (1975) and Tenebrae (1982) already being established by the skillful blending of low-key thrills, character development and good old fashioned murder mystery, as captured by Bava in this excellent, slow-burning suspense piece. Although it may take some viewers a while to settle into the overall tone of the film - with those first few scenes presenting us with a veritable bombardment of information, both narrative and thematic, before the first murder has even taken place - the eventual unravelling of the plot, and Bava's excellent direction eventually draw us deeper into a story that is here punctuated by a charmingly romantic subplot, a miniature travelogue around the tourist traps of Rome, some subtle moments of almost slapstick humour, and the director's always inventive use of visual experimentation.

The usual Gialli trademarks are already beginning to take shape here, with the film focusing on a foreigner - in this case, twenty-year old American student Nora Davis - who travels to Rome to visit her ailing aunt and inadvertently witnesses a murder. Alongside this central plot device, which would be utilised by Argento in many of his greatest films, such as the three aforementioned, we also have the ideas of sight and perception; with the central protagonist unintentionally witnessing something that is shrouded in elements of doubt and abstraction, and thus having to prove what she saw to sceptical police officers and those nearest to her. Bava's film is also given a neat touch of self-referential sub-text; opening with a shot of the central character herself reading a Giallo murder mystery, casting some doubt as to whether or not the film plays out in the literal sense, or whether it is a merely a constructed reality, taking place in her own mind as she reads the book to herself. This is a thread of interpretation that is examined throughout by the filmmaker, with the title of the book itself, "The Knife", having an importance on the plot that perhaps surreptitiously suggest some element of imagined fantasy.

Once we get through those hectic opening sequences, which introduce the characters and a number of potential sub-plots that are essentially window-dressing to throw us off the trail, the film settles into the murder mystery aspect and the burgeoning relationship between Nora and her young doctor friend, Marcello Bassi. Through the relationship, Bava introduces a subtle comment on the Holmes vs. Watson partnership recast as a romantic dilemma, whilst also creating space within his story to let the audience catch up and think about the potential clues already collected in order to lead us to the eventual discovery of the killer's identity. The use of sight and Bava's directorial slight-of-hand is used meticulously for the initial murder sequence; with the director creating a literal feeling of hazy disconnection and a distorted perspective through a somewhat dated visual effect and the always masterful use of light and shadow. Although the actual effect - which replicates the look of ripples on a pond - might lead a more contemporary audience to giggle or cringe, it does tie in with the continual use of water-symbolism in Bava's work, from the final story in The Three Faces of Fear/Black Sabbath (1963), and A Bay of Blood (1971) most famously, as well as a somewhat cheap gag about marijuana cigarettes that will pay off in the film's closing moments.

Again, the use of humour taps into the spirit of Hitchcock, with intrigue, voyeurism, suspense and murder being reduced to mere complications in the continual romantic wooing of Nora by the charming Dr. Bassi. Nevertheless, the thriller aspects are what we remember most clearly; with Bava's always atmospheric direction, iconography and ability to create tension from the slightest movement of the camera. Once the credits have rolled, we release just how subtle much of Bava's use of sight and perception actually was; with a number of scenes leading on from a moment of confusion by the central character, in which she thinks she sees something that turns out to be nothing of the sort. Again, it shows the director playfully undermining the central character; presenting Nora as someone unable to trust her own eyes, and thus, unable to be trusted with the ultimate unravelling of the plot. Nonetheless, Bava also succeeds in throwing us into this enigmatic mystery; undermining our own perspective of the story by showing us important information early on, allowing us to feel superior to Nora with our benefit of a forewarning, only to then cast further doubt in our mind as the gallery of suspects mount up.

Though still something of a minor work for Bava, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is undoubtedly great; enlivened by the fine performances from the two leads, John Saxon (a cult actor with an impeccable list of credits) and the delightful Leticia Roman (I'm honestly quite smitten), and absolutely brimming with style and energy. The gag at the end is in-keeping with Bava's work, but certainly doesn't lessen the impact of the more thrilling scenes that came before, or the air of grand mystery and excitement suggested by his excellent approach to editing, cinematography and design. Beware that the film also exists under the title The Evil Eye; re-edited by Bava for the American market as more of a light-hearted romp (Tarantino calls it's a masterpiece). The version reviewed here is the original Italian version, a minor masterpiece of Giallo thrills, cinematic abstractions and an old-fashioned approach to storytelling that grips us from the start and never lets us go.

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