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A young opera singer (Betty) gets her big chance when the previous star of a production of Verdi's Macbeth is run over by a car. Convinced the opera is bad luck she accepts, and becomes the target (in Argento's unmistakable style) of a psychopath - a man she has been dreaming of since childhood. Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
The idea of the pins-under-the-eyes torture device came from a joke of Argento's. Argento said it would annoy him when people would look away during the scary scenes in his films. He would jokingly suggest taping pins under people's eyes so they couldn't look away from the film. It would late materialize on the screen for this film. See more »
During the shootout in Betty's apartment as the masked killer dives out of the way of a shot, and the camera quickly pans after him, a crew member is visible on the right side of the frame, trying to get out of the way. See more »
Although many have mixed feelings about this latter day giallo thriller from Argento, it still stands as another lavish testament to the cinematic brilliance that is Argento.
A young opera singer has her first break out performance and suddenly finds herself the subject of obsession for a crazed maniac.
In a way, Opera is like a modern-day giallo take on Phantom of the Opera blended with all the glorious style and color that one would expect Dario Argento to deliver. Argento makes terrific use of inventive camera techniques, reoccurring symbols (like those ravens!), Gothic atmosphere, and truly gruesome murder sequences. One scene especially (which involves a peep hole and a gun) will knock viewers right out of their seats! Story-wise the film also manages to be gripping with some strong suspense and given great atmosphere by Claudio Simonetti's gorgeous music score.
The cast does some satisfying performances. Cristina Marsillach is good as our leading lady. The late Ian Charleson does a nice turn as the director, as does Urbano Barberini as an investigator, Daria Nicolodi as Marsillach's agent, and William McNamara as Marsillach's ill-fated lover.
Opera is terrific latter day Argento, and perhaps the last of his great works. It's sure to please his fans and even create some new ones.
**** out of ****
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