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The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
"L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo" (original title)

GP  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  12 June 1970 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 10,844 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 112 critic

A writer is stalked by a serial killer after witnessing a murder attempt on one woman's life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Musante ...
Sam Dalmas
Suzy Kendall ...
Julia
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Inspector Morosini
Eva Renzi ...
Monica Ranieri
Umberto Raho ...
Alberto Ranieri
...
Professor Carlo Dover (as Raf Valenti)
Giuseppe Castellano ...
Monti
Mario Adorf ...
Berto Consalvi
Pino Patti ...
Faiena
Gildo Di Marco ...
Garullo
Rosita Torosh ...
4th Victim (as Rosa Toros)
Omar Bonaro ...
Police Detective
Fulvio Mingozzi ...
Police Detective
Werner Peters ...
Antique Dealer
Karen Valenti ...
Tina, 5th Victim
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Storyline

Sam, an American writer in Rome, witnesses a murder attempt on the wife of the owner of an art gallery by a sinister man in a raincoat and black leather gloves - but Sam is powerless to do anything as he gets trapped between a double set of glass doors in going to her aid. The woman survives, and the police say that she is the first surviving victim of a notorious serial killer. But when they fail to make any progress with the case, Sam decides to investigate on his own, turning up several clues that point in the direction of just one possible suspect - assuming that he really knows who he's looking for... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All the screaming in the world won't help! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Point of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1972) | (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point an executive producer wanted Dario Argento removed from the production when he was disappointed by a screening of some dailies. When Argento's father Salvatore Argento went to the exec's office to talk to him he found the exec's secretary visibly shaken. When he asked the secretary what was troubling her she said she saw the screening and the footage terrified her. Salvatore Argento then asked her to go tell her boss about her reaction to the screening. She convinced the executive to keep Dario Argento on as director. See more »

Goofs

Language: It's never explained whether Dalmas speaks fluent Italian, or whether all the Italians (including the imprisoned pimp) speak fluent English. Furthermore, while all of the featured magazines, newspapers, street signs are in Italian, some letters and the computer print-out at the forensics lab is for some reason in English. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Morosini: Bring out the perverts!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Taxi für eine Leiche (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superior Thriller
30 June 2003 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Ominous music and lush cinematography override a sparse script to create a Jack-the-Ripper type thriller, which is deeply introspective, moody, and haunting.

Indeed, the script can be treacherous if used to try and solve this whodunit puzzle, which is best handled by removing psychological assumptions rather than by piecing together logical clues. Even so, the murder mystery plot is to some extent illogical.

The strength of the film though lies in its suspense, which is almost unbeatable. It rivals any of Hitchcock's works, to which it is repeatedly compared. The scene showing a knife chipping away at a wooden door is reminiscent of, and more frightening than, scenes showing bird beaks chipping away at a farmhouse door in Hitchcock's "The Birds".

I like the film too because it is so nostalgic. The reel-to-reel tape recorder and dozens of other props and visual cues, the references to philosophy and mysticism, the Morricone film score which at times sounds like the film scores from his spaghetti Westerns, all conspire to transport the viewer back to the Age of Aquarius.

The acting is fine. Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, and Enrico Salerno are perfect for the roles they play.

This is one scary movie. Minor flaws notwithstanding, "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" is top-notch entertainment for fans of suspense thrillers.


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