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Tenebre
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Tenebre (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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Tenebre -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   11,844 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for Tenebre on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 1987 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Terror Beyond Belief See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Argento's deliriously extreme suspense thriller See more (139 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Franciosa ... Peter Neal
Christian Borromeo ... Gianni

Mirella D'Angelo ... Tilde
Veronica Lario ... Jane McKerrow
Ania Pieroni ... Elsa Manni
Eva Robins ... Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro ... Detective Altieri
John Steiner ... Christiano Berti
Lara Wendel ... Maria Alboretto

John Saxon ... Bullmer
Daria Nicolodi ... Anne
Giuliano Gemma ... Detective Germani
Isabella Amadeo ... Bullmer's secretary
Mirella Banti ... Marion
Ennio Girolami ... Department Store Manager (as Enio Girolami)
Monica Maisani
Marino Masé ... John
Fulvio Mingozzi ... Alboretto, the porter
Gianpaolo Saccarola ... Coroner
Ippolita Santarelli ... Prostitute
Francesca Viscardi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Dario Argento ... Narrator (Italian version) / Murderer's Hands (voice) (uncredited)

Lamberto Bava ... Elevator Repairman #1 (uncredited)
Michele Soavi ... Maria's Boyfriend / Man Walking with Girl on Beach (uncredited)
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Directed by
Dario Argento 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dario Argento 

Produced by
Claudio Argento .... producer
Salvatore Argento .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Massimo Morante  (as Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli)
Fabio Pignatelli  (as Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli)
Claudio Simonetti  (as Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli)
 
Cinematography by
Luciano Tovoli 
 
Film Editing by
Franco Fraticelli 
 
Production Design by
Giuseppe Bassan 
 
Set Decoration by
Tommaso Barbi 
Maurizio Garrone 
 
Costume Design by
Pierangelo Cicoletti 
Franco Tomei 
 
Makeup Department
Patrizia Corridoni .... key hair stylist
Pierantonio Mecacci .... makeup artist
Piero Mecacci .... makeup artist (as Pierino Macacci)
 
Production Management
Cesare Jacolucci .... production manager
Cesare Jacolucci .... production supervisor
Giuseppe Mangogna .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lamberto Bava .... first assistant director
Michele Soavi .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Antonella Caputo .... assistant production designer
Massimo Garrone .... assistant set decorator
Osvaldo Monaco .... property master
Giuseppe Pagnotta .... property master
Cesare Piccini .... assistant property master
Aldo Taloni .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Luciano Anzellotti .... sound effects
Massimo Anzellotti .... sound effects
Mario Dallimonti .... sound
Giancarlo Laurenzi .... boom operator
Romano Pampaloni .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Giovanni Corridori .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Francesco Bellomo .... still photographer
Remo Cartocci .... grip
Francesco Giulivi .... gaffer
Roberto Marsigli .... assistant camera
Mario Moreschini .... key grip
Maurizio Piano .... assistant camera
Giuseppe Tinelli .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Canevari .... assistant costume designer
Vanda Caprioli .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Piero Bozza .... assistant editor
Roberto Priori .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Ferdinando Caputo .... production accountant
Diego Della Valle .... shoemaker
Carlo Du Bois .... production accountant
Enrico Lucherini .... unit publicist
Saverio Mangogna .... production secretary
Cesare Piccini .... leather
Francesca Roberti .... script supervisor
Pino Locchi .... voice dubbing: Giuliano Gemma (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Unsane" - USA (informal alternative title)
"Shadow" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Runtime:
110 min | USA:91 min (edited version) | 101 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Australia:R | Australia:M | Canada:R | Canada:16+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (2001) (uncut) | Finland:K-18 (1988) (cut) | France:-16 | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Germany:16 (cut version: 2002) | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:(Banned) | Italy:VM18 (original rating) | Italy:T (re-rating) (2009) | Italy:VM14 (re-rating) (cut) (1986) | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) | New Zealand:R16 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:(Banned) | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | USA:Unrated (director's cut) | USA:X (original rating) | West Germany:(Banned) | West Germany:18 (cut)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The impressive two and a half minute crane shot the encircles Tilda's house took three days to be completed. American distributors wanted the shot to be cut from the film for US release, but Argento refused.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Phenomena (1985)See more »
Soundtrack:
Take Me TonightSee more »

FAQ

Is this available on DVD?
What are the differences between the old British BBFC 18 Version and the Uncensored Version?
Does an alternate cut exist?
See more »
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Argento's deliriously extreme suspense thriller, 16 March 2001
Author: Pete M from Edinburgh, Scotland

Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa), a best selling mystery novelist, travels to Rome to promote his new book, Tenebrae, but before he arrives, a serial killer starts a reign of terror, inspired by the killings in the novel. Neal & his secretary Anne (Daria Nicolodi) decide to try & solve the murders. But can he find the killer before he strikes again?

Something of a change after the surreal, free-roaming nightmare-scapes of his two `Three Mothers' film (Suspiria –1977 & Inferno - 1980), Tenebrae is more concerned with narrative than most of Dario Argento's films. And if the director is at his best when he treads most daringly away from plausible reality, then Tenebrae is nevertheless an ideal starting place for newcomers to his work. A basic detective thriller structure is neatly offset by a series of weird flashback sequences (more memory than actual event), & some typically surreal chance events, notably the lengthy suspense sequence involving a vicious dog. Technically dazzling, the film is thoroughly doused with lashings of violence & gore, topped with the extended quasi-Hitchcockian suspense sequences that the director does so well. A sequence with Bulmer (the excellent John Saxon) in a square is easily a match for the cropduster build-up in North by Northwest (1960). The dazzling scene with the camera travelling over the roof of a building, peering in all the windows is no less effective, with Goblin's rock-disco score becoming music on the stereo upstairs. All of the (numerous) murder sequences are handling with astonishing flair & panache, being almost poetic at times.

Re-uniting with Suspiria cinematographer Luciano Tovoli (who also did Antonioni's The Passenger - 1975), Argento forgoes the rich colour schemes that characterised the `Three Mothers' films. Here, everything is in blinding, sterile white – a direct contrast to the themes of the film (the title means Darkness – i.e. of the soul). It also provides a telling visual contrast to both the deep red of blood & a key pair of shoes, as well as black (the genre standard leather gloves, sunglasses, & hair – all the women are brunettes).

Tenebrae also pre-dates Scream (1996) with its self-deconstruction & irony, the characters constantly discussing everything from literary influences & narrative construction to representations of women. Thankfully, despite plenty of humour in the film, it's no-where near as annoyingly self-satisfied or unsubtle as Scream. In fact, Tenebrae is rich with subtexts, particularly about sexism. The killer is driven by his inability to accept female empowerment, rendered by the symbolic rape of him by her stiletto (& revenged by his knife), the part being played by a transsexual. Sure, none of this is subtle, but the brazen lack of subtlety is one of the things that makes Argento's films so treasurable. Accusations of misogyny could be laid, but when depicting a misogynistic killer, it's inevitable that there's going to be more female deaths than male, & the deaths of the men are handled no different to those of the women.

Of course, it's plenty easy to ignore the subtexts & simply enjoy Tenebrae as the deliriously off-the rails, hyper violent thriller, with gratuitous nudity & surreal gore. As a flat-out rollercoaster ride, Tenebrae delivers the goods in full. The only question is whether or not you can handle it.

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