Down 1,223 this week

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

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 706 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 38 critic

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


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 10 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
a list of 40 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
a list of 43 titles
created 30 May 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 1 month ago
list image
a list of 23 titles
created 3 days ago

Related Items

Search for "The Fifth Cord" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Fifth Cord (1971)

The Fifth Cord (1971) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Fifth Cord.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American journalist in Prague searches for his girlfriend who has suddenly disappeared.

Director: Aldo Lado
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Jean Sorel, Mario Adorf
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Giorgio is a greedy adulterer who makes a deal with a serial killer to dispose of his wealthy wife, Nora. Unfortunately, a thrill-seeking young couple steal the killer's car with Nora's ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Cozzi
Stars: George Hilton, Antoine Saint-John, Femi Benussi
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When two sisters inherit their family castle, a string of murders committed by a mysterious dark haired woman in a red cloak decimates their circle of friends. Is the killer their ancestor,... See full summary »

Director: Emilio Miraglia
Stars: Barbara Bouchet, Ugo Pagliai, Marina Malfatti
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Beautiful young model Jennifer Lansbury and her goofy friend Marilyn Ricci move into a swanky high-rise apartment after the previous tenant gets brutally murdered. Pretty soon Jennifer is ... See full summary »

Director: Giuliano Carnimeo
Stars: Edwige Fenech, George Hilton, Annabella Incontrera
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman, a survivor of a failed murder attempt by a person dubbed "The Half-Moon Killer" by the police, and her husband must find the connecting thread between herself, six other women, and... See full summary »

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Antonio Sabato, Uschi Glas, Pier Paolo Capponi
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A triangle of friendship, love, sex, and, perhaps, murder. Minou is newly married to Peter, a businessman in debt as he works to bring a new product to market. They met through Dominique, ... See full summary »

Director: Luciano Ercoli
Stars: Dagmar Lassander, Pier Paolo Capponi, Simón Andreu
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ambassador's wife discovers that one of the men in her life - either her husband, an ex-lover or her current lover - may be a vicious serial killer.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Conchita Airoldi
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In a small Scottish village, horribly murdered bodies keep turning up. Suspicion falls upon the residents of a nearby castle that is haunted by a curse involving a killer cat.

Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Jane Birkin, Hiram Keller, Françoise Christophe
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Oliviero is a burned-out writer, living at his estate near Venice, his dead mother dominating his imagination. He is also a degenerate: sleeps with his maid and his ex-student, hosts ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A teacher who is having an affair with one of his students takes her out on a boat. They see a knife killing on shore. Other gruesome murders start occurring shortly thereafter, and the ... See full summary »

Director: Massimo Dallamano
Stars: Fabio Testi, Cristina Galbó, Karin Baal
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Valentina, a beautiful fashion model, takes an experimental drug as part of a scientific experiment. While influenced by the drug, Valentina has a vision of a young woman being brutally ... See full summary »

Director: Luciano Ercoli
Stars: Nieves Navarro, Simón Andreu, Pietro Martellanza


Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrea Bild
Silvia Monti ...
Police Inspector
Ira von Fürstenberg ...
Isabel Lancia
Edmund Purdom ...
Edouard Vermont
Rossella Falk ...
Sophia Bini
Dr. Richard Bini
Guido Alberti ...
Luciano Bartoli ...
Walter Auer (as Luciano Baroli)
Agostina Belli ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evil Fingers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Giornata nera (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Geometry of Shadows
28 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"I am going to commit murder," whispers our killer, as the camera flits around the jaded revellers at a New Year shindig. "I can imagine the thrill and pleasure I will experience as I stalk my victim..." Shortly after, John Lubbock (Maurizio Bonuglia) survives an attack in an underpass on his way home, and journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero), a fellow attendee, decides to investigate. Then a second party goer - invalid Doctor's wife Sophia Bini (Rossella Falk) - is attacked and killed in her home, and Andrea's elderly editor is found dead in a local park, both bodies accompanied by the killer's calling card (a black glove with first one then subsequent fingers cut off). Suddenly, the outspoken, hard-drinking journalist finds himself rising swiftly up the list of suspects.

What raises The Fifth Cord above the average giallo is striking cinematography and a couple of genuinely suspense-filled murders. The sequence involving the Doctor's wife is the most characteristic of the genre. Taking place in a huge and intimidating bedroom it also evokes the Gothic feel of old Hollywood and the memory of a certain Mrs de Winter. Bazzoni expertly handles the build-up of tension, getting the unfortunate Mrs Bini out of bed and crawling along the floor in a rising panic as first her wheelchair then telephone (her lifeline) vanish into the shadows. There's an almost supernatural element at play here. When the familiar gloved hands suddenly appear either side of the screen to slowly descend from behind and wrap themselves around her throat, they seem almost disembodied.

In contrast, the rest of the film is a study in modernity. Everything is concrete and glass, clean lines and polished surfaces. Every shot is carefully and deliberately lensed and filled with geometric shapes and patterns. Edges and shadows converge to corral Nero as the finger points increasingly in his direction. A scene in which he meets with the investigating officer in a subterranean parking lot is particularly well done, where the frosted windows behind the actors are reflected in the roof of the car in front and join with the widescreen framing to form a cage. The ending comprises tough-guy fisticuffs and a pulse-quickening chase sequence through the cadaverous wreck of an abandoned factory where Nero finally unmasks the black-coated killer, having already deduced the real motive, which twists the opening voice-over in a new and ambiguous light.

This is a solid, visually impressive giallo, if at times a little less engaging than it should be. The characters, other than Andrea, aren't effectively introduced or given enough screen time and are too often simply referred to by name, so it's difficult to remember who's who and why we should care. Consequently the narrative sometimes lacks clarity, getting itself into a bit of a muddle during the mid-section, and having spent most of the film presuming events have unfolded over a matter of days only to discover the killings have been occurring for roughly a five month period is a little jarring. There's nothing to suggest the passage of time, though the static environment does correspond with Bazzoni's austere vision.

A cold and relatively bleak film, The Fifth Cord makes the most of its angular urban settings to say something about the fractured nature of modern city life, from Nero's world-weary alcoholic loner to the estranged Doctor and his wife to hardworking single parent Helene (Silvia Monti). A world filled with acquaintances as opposed to friends, where people choose the warm bodies of strangers (filmed here with restraint rather than a gratuitous eye for sleaze) over the ones they may have at home. Nero, though at times out-and-out brutish, brings gravitas (and a suitably chiseled visage) to his genre-standard character, and Monti, in a limited role, manages to be strong and insightful and can keep her head in a crisis, helping to counterbalance the popular view of women in gialli as merely window dressing or cannon fodder. The English dubbing is of a high standard, with Nero providing his own voice. Overall it's more of a straightforward crime caper than a horror yarn, but worth checking out for the arresting visuals alone.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Franco Nero is hard to understand joey-narcotic
Discuss The Fifth Cord (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: