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Death Walks on High Heels (1971)
"La morte cammina con i tacchi alti" (original title)

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A famed jewel thief named Rochard is slashed to death on a train. His daughter Nicole, a famous nightclub performer in Paris, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds but she... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Frank Wolff ...
Dr. Robert Matthews
Nieves Navarro ...
Nicole Rochard (as Susan Scott)
Simón Andreu ...
Michel Aumont (as Simon Andreu)
Carlo Gentili ...
Inspector Baxter
George Rigaud ...
Captain Lenny
José Manuel Martín ...
Smith (as J. Manuel Martin)
Fabrizio Moresco ...
Luciano Rossi ...
Claudie Lange ...
Vanessa Matthews


A famed jewel thief named Rochard is slashed to death on a train. His daughter Nicole, a famous nightclub performer in Paris, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds but she claims to know nothing about this. Nicole is then terrorized by a masked man with piercing blue eyes who demands to know where her father has hidden the stolen diamonds. Suspecting that her jealous boyfriend Michel may be the man who is harassing her, Nicole and her new-found friend Dr. Robert Matthews escape to England and apparant safety. But the killer will strike again... Written by Johan Melle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

19 November 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

De dood sluipt op hoge hakken  »

Box Office


ESP 24,592,669 (Spain)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


70mm blow-up version released in Spain. See more »

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User Reviews

Plot twist to the left, red herring to the right…. Giallo Giallo Giallo!!!
28 March 2007 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Back in the early seventies, during the absolute most glorious years for the Giallo sub genre, I guess it must have been some sort of intense and obsessive competition between the eminent Italian directors to come up with the most exaggeratedly convoluted plots. These movies distinguish themselves from the other sub genres in horror by continuously misleading the audience when it comes to the revealing the identity of a sadistic and (usually) masked serial killer, who barbarically slaughters gorgeous and preferably naked ladies with sharp & shining weaponry. If the directors really did try to surpass each other with complex plot-structures and far-fetched denouements, then I bet Luciano Ercoli was one of the genuine winners of that game! He only made three Gialli and, even though they're not as famous as the works of Dario Argento or Sergio Martino, his films easily rank among the most twisted and extraordinary genre efforts I've ever seen. Ercoli's movies can be recognized by their awkward and flamboyant titles already. Fans of Italian cult-cinema from the 70's are most likely to be intrigued by titles like "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion", "Death Walks at Midnight" and – of course – "Death Walks in High Heels". Such appealing titles already hint at eventful crime-stories, and by God does Luciano Ercole ever deliver! "Death Walks in High Heels" is easily my personal favorite of his, as it's a tasteful and well-filled Giallo dish containing all the right ingredients such as graphic murders, beautiful music, suspense and copious amounts of female nudity, demented characters and crazy red herrings. The story opens with the brutal stabbing of a guy with an eye-patch who's fleeing from Paris on the night train. We quickly learn the victim was a notorious criminal who recently stole a valuable loot of diamonds from a bank safe in Paris. When his assailant can't find the diamonds in the luggage, he begins to stalk and threaten the jewel thief's beautiful daughter Nicole, who works as a popular striptease dancer in several Parisian nightclubs. Nicole suspects her drunkard boyfriend to be the culprit and she promptly flees to a little British seaside village with an eye-surgeon she hardly knows. The two enjoy a vivid and highly sexual relationship for a short while, but Nicole's aggressor followed her to England and the death toll rapidly increases. The already fascinating plot of "Death Walks on High Heels" even gets more compelling when a couple of important characters perish and the witty inspectors of Scotland Yard interfere with the investigation.

What a thoroughly engaging and exhilarating crime/thriller! The script doesn't always make sense and I counted at least three major holes/errors in the plot (situations that are pretty much impossible given the explanation during the climax), but "Death Walks in High Heels" is a tremendously entertaining film that you won't mind watching several times without ever getting bored. Luciano Ercoli cleverly sustains a fast pacing as well as a high tension-level, mainly by constantly switching locations, introducing new yet fundamental supportive characters and even implementing insightful flashbacks. The film starts in Paris with only three main characters, yet during the climax in the little English village there suddenly is nearly a dozen people involved in the mystery and several others have already died. Granted, this isn't the most violent Giallo available on the market (although one particular killing sequence is effectively nauseating), but the lack in bloodshed is widely compensated by the insane number of red herrings and ingenious little details to improve the mystery. Ernesto Gastaldi, whose pen literally was a nearly inexhaustible source for Italian cult classics, largely scripted "Death Walks in High Heels" and this also partly explains the film's success. The photography is stunning and extremely stylish, Stelvio Cipriani's score is more than enchanting and – last but not least – the acting performances are very pleasing. Susan Scott is an adequate actress and, moreover, a truly ravishing woman! She's probably the only living female creature who can turn you on simply by eating raw pieces of fish. No kidding! The others (male) actors do a fine job too, including Frank Wolff, Simon Andreu and the always suspicious-looking Luciano Rossi. The absolute best role is for Carlo Gentilli, as the cynic Scotland Yard inspector Baxter. Priority-viewing for the rapidly increasing number of Giallo-fans.

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