This is one of the more obscure Italian giallos as it doesn't feature any name actors or directors and it was unavailable in English for many years. It is nevertheless a well-crafted and enjoyable (if somewhat flawed) effort. It starts out with a bang--a 17-year-old French girl is stabbed to death and there is an exciting police chase through a rain-swept park. The murder is pinned on a local sportscaster and there is a half-hour courtroom drama. Courtroom dramas in general can be kind of slow and this one is especially so since we've barely even been introduced to the guy on trial. After the trial though the movie takes several interesting turns. It turns out that the defense attorney is having an affair with the sportscaster's sexy wife while his equally sexy daughter becomes involved with a disturbed young pianist who seems to have had some kind of previous relationship with the murdered girl. And then two more brutal stabbings occur in the park. . .
This movie contains all the elements that make gialli great--superb widescreen cinematography, very effective editing, and a great musical score. The film cleverly uses subtle flashbacks to fill in the mystery before the surprising (if rather abrupt) ending. The only weak spot is the characters. The sportscaster protagonist is a stiff. His wife and daughter are the usual sexist Italian stereotypes. Naturally, the daughter is unusually mature for a 17-year-old while the mother is unusually young (perhaps she gave birth at ten years old?). In one unintentionally hilarious scene the mother comes home to find her lawyer boyfriend forcing himself on her daughter and rather than being angry at him, she's jealous of her daughter! The lawyer and the detective investigating the case (Silvio Tranquino) are more interesting characters, but they fade away before the end of the movie. The troubled young pianist is the only character who is too intriguing, but he remains a cypher through most of the film.
These are pretty minor quibbles though. This movie is certainly worth a look. I suspect it will be released on legitimate DVD soon.
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