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8 user 8 critic

The Possessed (1965)

La donna del lago (original title)
A visitor arrives in a small Italian village looking for a woman. Residents tell him that she committed suicide but there's more to the mystery than they're letting on. Meanwhile, a strange woman walks by the lake.
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Cast

Cast overview:
Peter Baldwin ...
Bernard, the writer
Salvo Randone ...
Enrico
...
Irma
...
Adriana
Pier Giovanni Anchisi ...
Photographer (as Piero Anchisi)
Ennio Balbo ...
Coroner
Anna Maria Gherardi ...
Servant girl (as Anna Gherardi)
Bruno Scipioni
Mario Laurentini
Philippe Leroy ...
Mario
...
Tilde
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Storyline

A visitor arrives in a small Italian village looking for a woman. Residents tell him that she committed suicide but there's more to the mystery than they're letting on. Meanwhile, a strange woman walks by the lake.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 August 1965 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Possessed  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Version of Segui le ombre (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moody and atmospheric Italian mystery
13 August 2008 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The Lady in the Lake is often seen as a precursor to the Giallo style that would reach it's peak in the early seventies; and I can certainly see why. However, I would say that the film is closer to a supernatural mystery film than a Giallo and it also shares a lot in common with the popular American film noir style; stemming from it's picture, execution and subject material. The film is very much of the high quality variety and director Luigi Bazzoni takes time and a lot of care to ensure that the film is haunting and mysterious as possible - which pays dividends as the plot starts to pan out. We focus on Bernard; a writer who goes to spend some time in a dilapidated hotel where he spent some time the previous year. Once he gets there, he begins searching for Tilde; a young maid he fell in love with during his previous visit, but he's surprised by the news that Tilde killed herself. However, it would appear that there is more to the apparent suicide as Bernard is shown a picture suggesting she was pregnant...

The film is directed by Luigi Bazzoni, who go on to make one of the best seventies Giallo's with the excellent The Fifth Cord as well as one of the oddest genre films with Footsteps in 1975. There's also a writer's credit for Death Laid an Egg writer-director Giulio Questi, so rather unsurprisingly - The Lady of the Lake is a rather bizarre film! It starts off simple enough and the first half of the movie is pretty easy viewing, but then things start to get a bit stranger in the second half and it becomes easy to loose the plot. It's lucky then that there's more than enough to keep the audience otherwise entertained. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the black and white picture allows the director to capture a real macabre and moody atmosphere. The town in which the film takes place is a masterpiece within itself - the ghostly local population in particular is memorable. The plot comes back together towards the end and the film does give closure to its central plot line. Overall, The Lady of the Lake will probably not please all viewers; but it's a very well made mystery and anyone that considers themselves a fan of Italian cinema should check it out!


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BAVA, not Argento or Martino ! todmichel
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