Opera (1987)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  1 January 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 9,248 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 81 critic

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristina Marsillach ...
Inspector Alan Santini
Daria Nicolodi ...
Antonella Vitale ...
Signora Albertini
Antonino Iuorio ...
Baddini (as Antonio Juorio)
Carola Stagnaro ...
Alma's mother
Francesca Cassola ...
Maurizio Garrone ...
Maurizio, the raven trainer
Cristina Giachino ...
Maria, the assistant director
György Gyõriványi ...
Bjorn Hammer ...
Cop #1


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 <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The last note is a real killer. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong terror and violence, and for a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Opera  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The last theatrical film of Ian Charleson. See more »


In the killer's POV shot entering the costume workshop, the camera and camera dolly are seen in a mirror on the right. See more »


Marco: I think it's unwise to use movies as a guide for reality. Don't you Inspector?
Inspector Alan Santini: Depends what you mean by reality.
See more »


References Streamers (1983) See more »


by Brian Eno and Roger Eno
By Arrangement with Opal Ltd, London
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I just want to say, I f**king love this film
11 September 2014 | by (MINN.) – See all my reviews

Usually I float over titles I see on this website and let it be as karma to the film, or whatever, but this one seems to have a bad rep that I intend on redeeming. This film is worth me putting my foot in the door and saying something, I can't physically change your mind, but I can try and push the bad reviewers out of sight (by finding out where they live, kidnapping them with 3 rolls of duct tape per body, some heavy duty garden rope, and dropping them off the shortest peak of Mt Everest.) Some reviews say it's just a film that panders to gore hounds, where others say the story makes not a blip of sense. I recently watched another Italian horror director's (Lucio Fulci)film "House By The Cemetery", and I realised something about the whole genre of Italian Horror, whether it be very grounded Giallo types, or the supernaturally dream like horrors that feel like a hallucination. They're films that go for a "definite feeling", how they get there at the end, however unorthodox or off the wall they are, they achieve dread through little quirks and symbols, artistic motifs, camera shots, music that is genuinely saddening and horrifying. But whatever criticisms you might have about the acting, the strange, unrealistic script, the gore... you get "there". It creeps up your skin. It goes for a densely packed experience, filled with all kinds of dreams, fashion, themes and nightmares. On a documentary about Italian Horror films, it said something very important about the cultural significance of them and it is something that Fulci said: "Violence is an Italian art". There's something about their overbearing, bloody, Roman past, and their highly emotional society, and how even today it is so constricted by religion and class orders, and how this is represented in their horror output as a kind of rebellion. Sure there is worthy Italian comedy, but it's the horror that is done artistically and poignantly, and always in anything gruesome, there is a sense of humour anyway. It seems what they want us to believe is that it comes naturally to them and we should understand that their understanding serves a purpose in the universe.

With "Opera", the setting is that familiar scene of paparazzi, false love, real pain, celebrities, the fans, that cold world where talent, and love for what you do, takes you. Least of all, it's about Guiseppe Verdi's opera- "Macbeth". Actors at odds with their fans, A dark celebration of youth, life imitating art, it could be interpreted many ways, but ultimately I think what's clearest about it is its disdain for celebrity worshiping culture. It's fantastically cynical and has a seething hatred running through it. It's shot like a dream, which is not uncommon for Argento films, but a dream which turns sour for the unsuspecting protagonist who is unsure about the power of her singing talent, but coerced into taking the role of Lady Macbeth. The art direction in this is grey and futuristic looking, everything is the colour of granite, splashed with blue. Every element of the movie is densely layered, the cinematography, the music, the pacing is so tightly packed it's like watching someone get stuck in a black hole where no man has gone before. And that's my last point about this movie and why you should see it... it's a completely original film, an artistic accomplishment in its own right. It's a rebellious statement, it's brutal, it's seductive, it's confidently done, I just hope you read this review before the others and at least give it a chance. Saying it's rebellious has made me realise something: modern horror films are done for the enjoyment of watching them, it's like the makers enjoy it and that carries on, whereas the old films were made by men and women who were fighting in their own small ways, an oppressive society, who enjoyed fear above all else because the horror makes you think, they used their dream like horror as an intellectual and educational tool. This film is still a part of that "Old School". I don't know what to say, maybe my love for this movie is as irrational as the whole Italian horror canon, as the dream-like way in which they shot the films, but as far as going on pure feeling goes, my gut tells me to follow this one, and you should too. Get a creep under your skin, get a view of the world you've not seen, watch this!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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