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Brian De Palma
Robert De Niro,
New Orleans businessman Michael Courtland's life is shattered when his wife and daughter are tragically killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Many years later whilst visiting Italy he meets and falls in love with Sandra Portinari, who bears a striking resemblance to his wife. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The church in Florence significant in the plot of the film is the Church of San Miniato, or San Miniato al Monte (Saint Minias on the Mountain), a Romanesque basilica built in 1018, on the site of a 4th century chapel. See more »
In Robertson's first trip on the paddle-wheel boat to deliver ransom money in 1959, as it takes off, a pan to the street reveals traffic nearby with contemporary (1970's) cars. See more »
Cleverly contrived plot with a stunning Herrmann score...
Brian dePalma really accomplished quite a feat by paying homage to Hitchcock with a strong variation on VERTIGO's theme--a man who loses the woman he loves sees her reincarnated in another woman and then loses her too.
He takes this premise and does some fancy camera-work that swirls around the lovers with an intensity only matched by the whirling colors of Bernard Herrmann's magical score. He sets up the tale by having a convincing kidnapping take place in which his wife and daughter are taken by the criminals and has him mourning their loss until he encounters another woman in Italy, years later, who strongly resembles his presumably dead wife.
The rest of the plot must remain undisclosed for "spoiler" purposes, but I'm sure there are those who will at least have a suspicion as to the real purpose of all the foregoing events.
CLIFF ROBERTSON has the difficult chore of appearing downtrodden and depressed most of the time, so GENEVIEVE BUJOLD has the task of brightening up the tale with her unconventional good looks and upbeat manner. JOHN LITHGOW makes his screen debut as Robertson's close friend and business acquaintance.
If it's a stylish dePalma movie you're in the mood for, this one will fill the bill nicely. And that Bernard Herrmann score alone makes watching the movie completely worthwhile. It's dazzling.
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