Deborah e Michel sono sposati da otto anni senza avere figli perche Deborah è sterile. Questo fatto diventa per lei un'ossessione e la donna ha riversato tutto il suo affetto sul Igor, il cane. Poi una notte, al ritorno da un esperimento di parapsicologia durante il quale si erano verificati strani fenomeni, Deborah e Michel assistono ad un incidente stradale. E quando tornano a casa Igor inizia ad abbaiare con foga contro Deborah... Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Despite the title A Black Ribbon for Deborah, reminiscent of two earlier gialli (The Sweet Body of Deborah and A Black Veil for Lisa), this can't really be categorized as one. There are no murders, and director Andrei is more interested in mood than suspense. Halfway between horror and drama, it's one of several Italian films from the 70's dealing with the psychological breakdown of a woman, somehow involving a child. This sub-sub-genre owes its existence to Rosemary's Baby (as does Malfatti's haircut here) but unlike others from the period (Perfume of the Lady in Black, Le Orme), the child here remains unborn (and possibly unreal). Malfatti is an infertile wife with psychic abilities who suddenly believes herself pregnant after witnessing a car crash involving a pregnant woman. Her doctor tells her husband it's all in her mind, however, and the viewer is left wondering if she's going mad. As with Le Orme and Perfume, the exposition here proceeds quite slowly, and this film lacks several of the elements that make those superior. Malfatti and Dillman aren't particularly likable, or believable as a couple, and Gig Young steals the scenes he's in as Dillman's best friend. Although stylish in parts (the most effective scene being Malfatti's revelation of her pregnancy to her husband in the midst of a crowded dance floor), it lacks the shocking ending and/or surrealistic imagery that heightens the sense of perverted reality that eurotrash fans look for from these films. The score is alternately baroque and funky per the period, but lacks the distinction a Piovani or Morricone would have brought to it. The dubbing is better than usual for this sort of film, and Young and Dillman seem to have done their own. Ultimately I can only recommend it to eurotrash fans who will already bring to it an interest and affection for the genre. Most everyone else would be better served watching better known (and better) films from the same era.
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