A wealthy, decadent count convinces a disillusioned playboy that they shall murder one another's relatives, to get away with the perfect crime. The count murders the playboy's unpleasant ... See full summary »
A wealthy, decadent count convinces a disillusioned playboy that they shall murder one another's relatives, to get away with the perfect crime. The count murders the playboy's unpleasant wife. Now the playboy finds he cannot keep his end of the bargain, while the police finger him for the murder. Written by
Joe Arthur <email@example.com>
Interesting thriller, but a bit too high brow for it's own good
The influence for this film is clear; it's basically an Italian twist on the Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. Being a big fan of that film, I was of course intrigued to see how this was going to turn out. I wont say I was too disappointed overall, but it's nowhere near as good as the original and certainly could have been a lot better. The main problem with it is that director Maurizio Lucidi has aimed too high; it's clear he wanted this to be a high quality thriller rather than a slice of Italian exploitation - and personally I'd rather it have been the latter. The basics of the plot will be familiar to most fans of thrillers, and in this film we focus on Stefano Argenti, an advertising executive who is at odds with his wife over the sale of a joint business. He wants rid of it so he can live a life of luxury with his mistress; but his wife wont agree the sale. Stefano meets Count Mateo Tiepolo, who it transpires, is at odds with his violent brother. Mateo suggests a plan in which each man murder the other's vice; though Stefano is reluctant. But then Mateo kills Stefano's wife, and demands that the favour is returned.
The lead roles are taken by Tomas Milian and Pierre Clémenti, and both perform well and share an intriguing (almost homo-erotic) bond on screen together. The plot itself is rather slowly paced and it has to be said there's not a great deal of excitement; I was never on the edge of my seat waiting to see what's going to happen, and that's unfortunate since the film is supposed to be a thriller. It's all very well orchestrated, however, and the film has themes that go deeper than merely what we're seeing on screen. Director Maurizio Lucidi obviously wanted to keep the film clean, and therefore we don't see any murders actually happen, which is a bit of a disappointment. The locations are all very beautiful and well shot, and this brilliantly offsets the dark themes of the film. The soundtrack is rather interesting also and not merely the norm for Giallo. The film deviates from Hitchcock's original with the ending, which features a clever twist; though I have to say I prefer how the original turned out. Overall, I would definitely say that this film is worth a look; however, I'd have preferred some more of the classic Giallo style.
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