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Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

Non si sevizia un paperino (original title)
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A reporter and a promiscuous young woman try to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town that's rife with superstition and distrust of outsiders.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Maciara
...
...
...
Dona Aurelia Avallone
...
Don Alberto Avallone
Georges Wilson ...
Francesco (as George Wilson)
Antonello Campodifiori ...
Lieutenant
Ugo D'Alessio ...
Captain Modesti
Virgilio Gazzolo ...
Police Commissioner (as Virginio Gazzolo)
Vito Passeri ...
Barra
Rosalia Maggio ...
Mrs. Spriano - Michele's Mother
Andrea Aureli ...
Mr. Lo Cascio - Bruno's Father
Linda Sini ...
Mrs. Lo Cascio - Bruno's Mother
Franco Balducci ...
Mr. Spriano - Michele's Father
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Storyline

In the backward village of Accendura, the boy Bruno Lo Casio goes missing and the police inspector and the local commissioner and the village Captain Modesti investigate the case. When his father receives the request of a ransom, the police arrest the local Giuseppe and realize that he is innocent. Then the boys Michele and Tonino are also murdered and the police suspect of the local witch Maciara, who practices black magic, might be the killer but they find she is also innocent. However the superstitious and ignorant locals brutally kill her. Meanwhile that village is crowded of journalist, including the experienced Andrea Martelli (Tomas Milian) from Rome. He befriends Patrizi, a daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur that is living in the village after a drug scandal. They meet the village priest Don Alberto Avallone, who has a group of boys that plays soccer at the church and is the son of the weird Dona Aurelia Avallone that raises her slow six year-old daughter. They believe the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

29 September 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Don't Torture a Duckling  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the film's controversial storyline, which criticized the Catholic Church, the movie was blacklisted and received a limited theatrical run throughout Europe and was never released in theaters in the United States. In 2000, Anchor Bay secured the rights and released the film for the first time in the United States on DVD. See more »

Goofs

At one point during the fight scene near the end, a crew member's shadow can briefly be seen on the ground. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Diva (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Quei giorni insieme a te
Composed by Jaja Fiastri and Riz Ortolani
Performed by Ornella Vanoni
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User Reviews

 
An amazing Fulci film! The absolute proof that this director is a horror genius.
2 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

I tend to get furious when hearing about Lucio Fulci's reputation as a director. Too often he's categorized as a no-talented filmmaker, only out to shock and disgust entire audiences with images of pure gore. True, his films contain more explicit filth and sickness as your average mainstream American production, but his films always are of wide range and the plots are gruesomely morbid. Don't Torture a Duckling is yet another story! This film is a pure gem of the Italian shock cinema! I easily dare to call this film a masterpiece…it's an old-fashioned giallo that includes all brilliant aspects of genuine horror. The film shows the search for a inhuman serial murderer in a small Italian mountain-town. The bodies of 3 young boys are found, horribly mutilated. There are quite a lot of pseudo-madmen in the town but every trail leads to nowhere. Among the suspects are a greedy bum and a scary woman, obsessed by witchery and voodoo. Like a true mastermind, Fulci knows to find the right creepy tone for his film. He portrays the small town as a claustrophobic and inescapable setting of macabre happenings, supported by a giddy soundtrack. Fulci also develops himself as a genius storyteller here. The script always is one step ahead of you and the complex plot will mislead you more than once. In other words, this is a unique giallo (horror slash murder mystery). The gore isn't presented as grotesque and explicit as in Lucio's later milestones (among them are the legendary Zombie 2, The Beyond and the New York Ripper), although there still are a few nauseating and hard-to-watch shock-sequences shown.

Don't torture a Duckling is the most compelling and effective achievement Lucio Fulci ever brought forward and it easily ranks among the greatest Italian horror movies ever made. Right next to the masterpieces made by Mario Bava and Dario Argento. The film is fascinating from start to finish, some plot aspects are alarmingly realistic and the tension is adrenalin-rushing at all times! A must see for horror fans and an absolute priority for Italian shock-lovers!


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