The Card Player (2004)
"Il cartaio" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  2 January 2004 (Italy)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 3,938 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 72 user | 92 critic | 6 from

A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.



(screenplay), (story), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Mari
John Brennan
Adalberto Maria Merli ...
Police Commissioner
Carlo Sturni
Fiore Argento ...
Lucia Marini
Mia Benedetta ...
Giovanni Visentin ...
C.I.D. Chief
Claudio Mazzenga ...
Conchita Puglisi ...
Micaela Pignatelli ...
Professor Terzi
Luis Molteni ...
Carlo Giuseppe Gabardini ...
Anti-Hacker #1
Alessandro Mistichelli ...
Anti-Hacker #2


In Rome, after the abduction of a British tourist, the police inspector Anna Mari is contacted by the criminal, who self-entitles The Card Player, challenging the police department to dispute a video poker with him where the prize would be the life of the victim. The Chief of Police refuses to participate and the victim is tortured and killed in front of an Internet web cam. The British detective John Brennan is assigned to investigate the case and when another woman is kidnapped, they invite the addicted player Remo to play for the police. Anna and John lead the investigation trying to disclose who might be the serial-killer. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A serial killer with a vice for Video Poker.


Mystery | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 January 2004 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Card Player  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


€2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$874,371 (Italy) (2 January 2004)


$1,479,042 (Italy) (9 January 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The role of the cop was intended for Mathieu Kassovitz but he withdrew when he was offered the chance to direct Gothika (2003). It was eventually given to Liam Cunningham and the name changed from John Russo to John Brennan. See more »


Referenced in Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A bit disappointing
26 July 2004 | by (Volos, Greece) – See all my reviews

What can I say about this film? It certainly is not a typical Argento film (and I mean that in a very broad sense - there are some things you expect from an Argento film, like gore, tension and a certain visual style), but is it really bad? Well, it's not a terrible movie but from the man that gave us Suspiria, Deep Red and Tenebrae I expected much more.

First of all it's not giallo but more of a run of the mill detective story. Now, this wouldn't be bad if it was a good detective story, but it's not. The identity of the killer was predictable and some parts of the story did not make any sense. On top of that, the acting was not very good and the music was at best tolerable. And the final scene was just bad and did not make much sense.

The only good things about the movie were some great shots of Rome, and a couple of good, powerful scenes (like the first 2 murders) that reminded me a little of Argento's better films.

It's not a very bad movie, it's just a mediocre one. But since it's an Argento movie I expected much more. I give it 5 out of 10.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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