A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
"Una lucertola con la pelle di donna" (original title)

R  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  20 March 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,543 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 85 critic

A young woman is accused of murdering her debauched neighbor after dreaming it. Was she set up, or did she really do it?



(screenplay), (story), 5 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Hammond
Inspector Corvin
Jean Sorel ...
Frank Hammond
Silvia Monti ...
Alberto de Mendoza ...
Sgt. Brandon
Penny Brown ...
Jenny (hippie girl)
Mike Kennedy ...
Hubert (hippie guy)
Ely Galleani ...
Joan Hammond (as Edy Gall)
George Rigaud ...
Dr. Kerr
Ezio Marano ...
Lowell (scientific squad)
Franco Balducci ...
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
Erzsi Paál ...
Mrs. Gordon (as Ersi Pond)
Gaetano Imbró ...
Edmond Brighton


Florinda Bolkan plays the daughter of a prominant English politician who keeps having recurring "nightmares" in which she makes love to a bisexual nympho who lives downstairs and conducts all-night LSD orgies. When the nocturnal wet dreams become murderous, the neighbor turns up dead, and Florinda is the main suspect. Did she actually commit the murder she dreamt about? Is she being framed by her philandering husband? Did Florinda actually make nightly visits downstairs aside from borrowing the occasional cup of sugar? How DID Florinda's letter opener end up stuck in the dead neighbor's chest anyway? The complex plot unfolds amidst red herrings, outlandish dream sequences, lesbian hanky panky, and ominous close-ups of Florinda Bolkan's guilt-ridden facial expressions every time someone mentions the murder. All this takes place in swinging late-1960's London. Written by Mike Justice <Fergus21@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biting, Gnawing Terror Claws at Your Brain! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

20 March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin  »

Box Office


ESP 24,160,712 (Spain)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scene in which Carol encounters the disemboweled dogs in the clinic became quite controversial because of the startlingly realistic (and graphic) appearance of the fake prop dogs. Director Lucio Fulci was nearly sent to prison because it was believed that the dogs were real and Fulci had allowed animal cruelty on the film. However crew members were able to testify in court that the "dogs" were indeed fake and no animals had ever been harmed. Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi even presented the dog props in court to convince the jury. This was the first time that an effects artist had to testify in court that their work was fake. See more »


When people are taking pictures of Julia Durer's body, her eyebrow moves. See more »


Referenced in Shedding the Skin (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

First rate Fulci
19 March 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

When people think of Lucio Fulci, it's always his gorier and largely incoherent efforts that spring to mind. Films like Zombie Flesh-Eaters and The Beyond, which are most definitely good films if you like that sort of thing (as I certainly do!); but they don't adequately portray the man's talent. If you want to see the 'great' Fulci films, you need to go back to his Giallo days with films like Don't Torture a Duckling and indeed this film; A Lizard in Woman's Skin. Fulci's first Giallo is a trippy thriller that excellently captures the laid back style of the swinging sixties and blends it magnificently with the thrilling pace that has gone on to epitomise the Italian thriller. The film follows a young woman (Florinda Bolkan) who dreams that she is having orgies with a hippy woman that lives downstairs. Events take a turn for the worse when the young woman dreams that she's killed the hippy, who then turns up dead; brutally murdered in her apartment, in exactly the way that the woman dreamt...

While this film isn't as brutal as some of the later Giallo efforts, Fulci succeeds in creating a foreboding atmosphere and manages to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. The plot line is rather strange, and Fulci makes best use of this through an excellent Ennio Morricone score, which firmly instills the trippy atmosphere in the viewers mind. The Giallo has come to be synonymous with brutal murders and lots of gore but, ironically, Fulci keeps his murders down a minimum and some of them even happen off screen. This is both a good and a bad thing as I, personally, like seeing brutal murders in Giallo's; but on the other hand it allows Fulci to keep the focus firmly on the central murder and he doesn't get sidetracked with lots of blood and gore, which does the film itself lots of favours. The mystery boils down to an excellent ending, in which the film is tied up nicely and we are treated to a great twist and some first rate detective work from the detective on the case. Highly recommended viewing and a must for Giallo fans!

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