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Paranoia (1969)
"Orgasmo" (original title)

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Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

A rich and lonely American widow befriends two young people whose motives become suspect.


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A man is under the illusion he is a wanted war criminal. After killing two people he commits suicide.

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Stars: Kees van Eyck, Pamela Koevoets, Rudolf Lucieer


Credited cast:
Kathryn West
Peter Donovan
Colette Descombes ...
Tino Carraro ...
Brion Sanders
Lilla Brignone ...
Franco Pesce ...
Tina Lattanzi ...
Kathryn's Aunt
Jacques Stany ...
Police Inspector
Sara Simoni
Gaetano Imbró
Calisto Calisti
Alberto Corchi ...
(as Alberto Cocchi)
Maria Rosiello
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Guilty ...
Arnold Cleever


Kathryn West, a glamorous American widow, arrives in Italy several weeks after the death of her older, extremely wealthy husband. With the help of Brian, her lawyer, Kathryn moves into a luxurious villa and proceeds to lead a lonely, uneventful existence until one day, a handsome young man named Peter Donovan shows up at the front gate, looking for tools so he can fix his sports car. Kathryn lets him stay the night, and the next thing she knows, she's madly making love to him in the shower. Peter eventually moves in, and is soon joined by a free spirit he introduces as Eva, his sister. Kathryn enjoys their company and partying with them - until she begins to suspect that Peter and Eva aren't what they seem to be. Written by Eugene Kim <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PARANOIA sucks you into a whirlpool of erotic love! See more »


Drama | Thriller


X | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 February 1969 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Paranoia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First part of a trilogy also including So Sweet... So Perverse (1969) and A Quiet Place to Kill (1970). See more »


References Diabolique (1955) See more »


Fate Had Planned It So
Written by Lydia MacDonald and Piero Umiliani
Sung by Lydia MacDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

Great premise, but somehow disappointing Giallo
2 November 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Umberto Lenzi was undoubtedly responsible for many of the best films that the Giallo sub-genre has to offer. Seven Blood-Stained Orchids and Oasis of Fear are my pick of his filmography, and while Orgasmo is generally well regarded by Giallo fans, I have to say that I didn't find it all that interesting. The film has some notoriety due its title, as Lenzi made another film also called Paranoia and starring Carol Baker in 1969, which has lead to masses of confusion. It is for that reason that I prefer to use the title 'Orgasmo', although 'Paranoia' actually suits the plot and it's themes far better. The film focuses on the upper class, and in particular Catherine West; a woman who has inherited a fortune from the death of her husband. She decides to take refuge at a clandestine mansion in the country. It's not long before a young man named Peter arrives and seduces Catherine, but this leads her to the bottle, which she indulges in often. Peter's sister Eva later arrives at the mansion, and it's not long before the three of them engage in a manage trios, and Catherine soon feels the brunt of the pair's ulterior motives...

The central plot undoubtedly has the potential to give way to a great thriller, but it's never totally capitalised on and the tension isn't revved up to a satisfying degree. The film came out before the Giallo boom in the early seventies, and it's not your usual Giallo picture in the sense that sex and blood don't feature often. There are a few sex scenes, however, and the film gained some notoriety upon release for Carol Baker's nude scenes. However, it's clear that atmosphere is more important to the director and the torture sequences in the film are unique in that they focus more on sound and mental torture than the physical kind. Umberto Lenzi's regular heroine Carol Baker gives a satisfying performance and manages to draw the audience into her plight at every opportunity, and her acting certainly one of the film's main highlights. The ending gives way to a rather off-the-cuff twist, which doesn't completely make sense; but does succeed in giving the film some extra shock factor. Overall, Orgasmo is certainly worth checking out for the Giallo fan as it's one of the more highly revered films; and I wish I could have given it a higher rating.

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