An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

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An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Camaso
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bullmer
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Anne
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Detective Germani
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Gianni
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Tilde
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Jane McKerrow
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Elsa Manni
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Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro ...
Detective Altieri
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Christiano Berti
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Maria Alboretto
Isabella Amadeo ...
Bullmer's secretary
Mirella Banti ...
Marion
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Department Store Manager (as Enio Girolami)
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Storyline

With Argento's trademark visual style, linked with one of his more coherent plots, Tenebrae follows a writer who arrives to Rome only to find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration (and, occasionally, the means) of committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are ever baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case than is comfortable. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Unrelenting terror from the maker of DEMONS, CREEPERS and SUSPIRIA! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tenebre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director trademark: [Dario Argento] Murder victim crashes through window. See more »

Goofs

Just before Elsa is killed, the attacker shoves several individual wads of paper into her mouth. But as she dies, she spits it out and the pages are now wadded together in one giant ball. See more »

Quotes

[First lines]
Narrator: "The impulse had become irresistible. There was only one answer to the fury that tortured him. And so he committed his first act of murder. He had broken the most deep-rooted taboo, and found not guilt, not anxiety or fear, but freedom. Any humiliation which stood in his way could be swept aside by the simple act of annihilation: Murder."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Anne's screams continue even as the ending credits roll. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Tonight
Performed by Kim Wilde
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A top-notch giallo from the master of Italian horror, Dario Argento.
23 August 2006 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

With its leather-gloved killer, amazing score, spectacular and innovative camera-work, and wonderfully gory murders, Tenebre delivers everything you could ask for in a giallo. Like many Italian murder mysteries, the story takes some swallowing, but if you can accept the convoluted plot, there's plenty of fun to be had.

Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is a best-selling novelist who becomes involved in real life murder mystery when the victims of a razor-wielding killer are found with pages from his latest book stuffed in their mouths.

One of director Dario Argento's best movies, Tenebre is packed to the rafters with the kind of stuff that make good giallos such a trip to watch. As pretty girls are stalked and killed by a raspy-voiced maniac, the director offers genuine clues and red herrings aplenty, allowing the audience to have fun trying to figure out who the killer is. The movie's stunning cinematography is accompanied by one of Goblin's greatest scores, transforming what may have been mundane moments in the hands of a lesser director into pure works of art (in one amazing scene the camera simply prowls slowly around the outside of a building, but with Argento in control, it is simply breathtaking!).

Murder has never been so stylish, and even the most grisly deaths are stunningly captured. A particularly memorable moment has a young girl stumble into the house of the killer, before being chased through a garden; this scene is shot from the axe-wielding maniac's point of view, and is incredibly effective.

Fans of gore are also catered for with several gruesome murders, the best of which involves bucket-loads of arterial spray decorating most of a wall. Juicy!

Argento reveals the identity of the killer in a suitably silly finale (all gialli have them), before offing the murderer in a fittingly gruesome manner.

Check out Tenebre and witness one of the great works from one of Italian horror's finest.


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