IMDb > 5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
5 bambole per la luna d'agosto
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5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970) More at IMDbPro »5 bambole per la luna d'agosto (original title)

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5 Dolls for an August Moon -- A small group of people come to an island to relax but soon find themselves trapped on the island with a murderer in their midst.


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Mario di Nardo (story)
View company contact information for 5 Dolls for an August Moon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 1970 (Italy) See more »
A small group of people come to an island to relax but soon find themselves trapped on the island with a murderer in their midst. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Ten Little Sleazebags See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
William Berger ... Prof. Gerry Farrell
Ira von Fürstenberg ... Trudy Farrell (as Ira Furstenberg)

Edwige Fenech ... Marie Chaney
Howard Ross ... Jack Davidson
Helena Ronee ... Peggy Davidson (as Helena Ronée)
Teodoro Corrà ... George Stark (as Teodoro Corrá)
Ely Galleani ... Isabel (as Justine Gall)
Edith Meloni ... Jill Stark
Mauro Bosco ... Charles
Maurice Poli ... Nick Chaney

Directed by
Mario Bava 
Writing credits
Mario di Nardo (story and screenplay)

Produced by
Luigi Alessi .... producer
Original Music by
Piero Umiliani 
Cinematography by
Antonio Rinaldi (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Mario Bava 
Costume Design by
Giulia Mafai  (as Giuliana Mafai)
Makeup Department
Orietta Melaranci .... makeup artist (as Oretta Melaranci)
Production Management
Luigi Alessi .... production manager
Alfonso Cucci .... assistant production manager
Adolfo Martello .... assistant production manager (as Rudolfo Martello)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mario Bianchi .... assistant director
Art Department
Giuseppe Aldrovandi .... set designer
Giulia Mafai .... set dresser (as Giuliana Mafai)
Sound Department
Leopoldo Rosi .... sound
Visual Effects by
Enrico Catalucci .... optical effects (as E. Catalucci)
Camera and Electrical Department
Gianlorenzo Battaglia .... assistant camera (as Lorenzo Battaglia)
Armando Pietrangeli .... still photographer
Emilio Varriano .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Roberto Ranucci .... assistant costumes designer
Editorial Department
Liliana Serra .... assistant editor
Other crew
Marisa Agostini .... continuity
Franco Tupini .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"5 bambole per la luna d'agosto" - Italy (original title)
"Island of Terror" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
88 min | USA:78 min | France:90 min | UK:81 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Italy:VM18 | UK:18 | UK:15 (re-rating) (2015) | USA:Unrated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Shot in only 19 days.See more »
Nick Chaney:So what was I telling you?
Marie Chaney:That I'm a dirty whore. That's why I'm taking a shower... at least now I'll be a clean whore.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in L'Esorcismo di Lisa (2004) (V)See more »
Five DollsSee more »


Is "Five Dolls for an August Moon" based on a book?
I don't understand the plot. What exactly happened?
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Ten Little Sleazebags, 30 January 2016
Author: rooee from United Kingdom

"Maestro of the Macabre" Mario Bava directs this island-set murder mystery, which owes more than a little to Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Although it has some of the hallmarks of giallo – a bevy of vixens luxuriating upon middle-aged sleazebags, ropey dubbing, and murder wounds that bleed peri-peri sauce – it isn't exactly a slasher. It's brief and bloody but not particularly brutal.

The opening starts like a fairy tale – albeit a very 1970s Italian one. Isabel (Justine Gall) prances through the woods like Carroll's Alice and comes to a house. Through the window she watches a forbidden party taking place. It appears that she witnesses a ritual murder – except it turns out to be a game.

But then a real corpse is found and the real game begins. On a remote island populated by self-interested, alcoholic, amoral millionaires ("Filthy swine from the same mould!"), everyone is a suspect.

The chief one initially is George (Teodoro Corra). He's brought a bunch of smug gits to the house to hammer out a business deal. They're all vying to purchase a secret scientific formula from Professor Fritz (William Berger). So when the professor cops it, the accusations start to fly and tensions start to fray. The bodies pile up quicker than you can say "Dario Argento".

Five Dolls wasn't a big release at the time and it's not a classic movie by any means (Bava himself disregarded it), but it's solid and reasonably tense. Naturally, once the murders begin everyone behaves like cogs in a movie narrative machine rather than a convincing human being, but that's par for the course. This is virtually a tech demo for Bava's craft – he's the Hitchcock of Italian cinema, as his choices of shots, focus, and fluid camera shifts show. And if nothing else you have a fantastic, unique jazzy score from Piero Umiliani, who even gives the bodies in the freezer their own jaunty piano theme.

Murder mystery fans will be frustrated by the film's pace, which sometimes gives us literally seconds between homicides. We're furnished with few clues to play with and the final twist is a dirty cheat. But let's not pretend there's no pleasure in watching these sharks eat each other; we're here to find out which of them makes it out alive, period.

Five Dolls is drenched in atmosphere and the production design gives a wonderful sense of the otherworldly – we could be on an alien planet. Silly and sexy, it's not an essential movie, but if you're interested in a macabre and hallucinatory curio from one of horror's most influential artists, look no further.

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