The Fifth Cord (1971)
"Giornata nera per l'ariete" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  January 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 885 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 38 critic

An alcoholic journalist finds himself on the trail of a murderer after the police make him a suspect in their investigation.



, (novel) (as D.M. Devine) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrea Bild
Silvia Monti ...
Police Inspector
Ira von Fürstenberg ...
Isabel Lancia
Edouard Vermont
Rossella Falk ...
Sophia Bini
Dr. Richard Bini
Guido Alberti ...
Luciano Bartoli ...
Walter Auer (as Luciano Baroli)
Maurizio Bonuglia ...
John Lubbock
Pamela Tiffin ...
Lu Auer
Corrado Gaipa ...
Andrea Scotti ...
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
(as L. Antonio Guerra)


After a high-class party in Rome, there's an assault. The victim is injured but lives. Andrea, an investigative reporter who drinks too much, is assigned the story. Then, always on Tuesdays, there are a series of murders. At each crime scene, a glove is left with a finger cut off for each victim. After four murders, Andrea thinks he's making progress, but by this time he may himself be a suspect, and someone he loves is in danger. Written by <>

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Mystery | Thriller


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Release Date:

January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evil Fingers  »

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User Reviews

It doesn't break the mould but it does have fabulous photography
19 May 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

The Fifth Cord is a giallo from director Luigi Bazzoni, who was also responsible for another entry in the genre, the excellent Footprints on the Moon. This film is a lot more conventional than Footprints. In it, an alcoholic journalist becomes entangled in a series of murders that seem to be connected somehow. This plot-line is pretty unremarkable and typical. But three things make this one stand out. Firstly it has the charismatic Franco Nero in the central role, secondly it's got another impressive Ennio Morricone soundtrack and thirdly, and most importantly, it has exquisite photography from the great Vittorio Storaro who previously shot The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and later did Apocalypse Now. The cinematography really is fantastic here. Geometric spaces are shot with consummate skill and every frame seems to have been considered in detail. Aesthetically, The Fifth Cord is an unarguable triumph.

It's not particularly violent for a giallo. The murders are not very graphic at all. Although it does have some impressive suspenseful moments such as the sequence where a disabled woman - played by the always interesting Rossella Falk – is terrorised in the dark by an unseen assailant. Otherwise it does have the usual combination of crazy components that are typical to the genre, such as sex parties, astrology and blackmail. Although I guess the story holds together more solidly than most other gialli. Bazzoni hasn't made a classic of the genre to be fair but he has directed a very stylish one. It comes from the slightly more restrained side of the genre but it should definitely interest seasoned fans of this type of thing.

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