A televised Royal Shakespeare Company production of August Strindberg's classic play. Miss Julie (Helen Mirren), a 19th century aristocrat's daughter, is attracted to one of the servants in her father's house.
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After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.
Colpo Rovente was released a couple of years before the Giallo boom in the early seventies, and the film is more like the American film noir movement than Italy's finest cinematic export. Indeed, the film is often called a 'psychedelic noir' and this atmosphere is achieved through some bizarre set design and the soundtrack. The film also features a voice-over, which serves in giving it that classic noir feel. Colpo Rovente is set in New York, and unlike a lot of Italian films set in America; actually does a decent job of making New York the central location. The plot reminded me more of the later Italian 'Polizi' films than a Giallo, and focuses on crime in New York. Frank is a police inspector that was on the case of MacBrown; the head of a pharmaceutical company, and suspected of dealing in drugs. However, Frank was pulled off the case and shortly thereafter; MacBrown is murdered in the middle of a group of people by an unseen assassin. Frank is called in to investigate the murder. But the dead bodies soon start to pile up...
Given the time in which it was made, Piero Zuffi's only feature film as a director isn't as sordid or as gory as what we would later come to associate Italian cult films with. But the film makes up for its lack of sex and blood with a fairly engaging plot line and some great visuals. It has to be said that the plot line moves a little sluggishly in places, and in typical Italian style; it doesn't always make sense, but generally it has enough to keep the audience watching and patience is rewarded with a great little twist at the end. The cast isn't very notable, but future Giallo heroine Barbara Bouchet stands out. Bouchet looks particularly tasty in this one, as she gets to don a stylish black wig! The plot takes in ideas of the 'horrors' of organised crime, and although it doesn't quite analyse them to any substantial extent; Colpo Rovente does feel like a film that has had some thought put into it. Overall, I can't say that this is one of the best Italian movies I've seen, but it's certainly one of the more unique ones and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the cult fan!
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