IMDb > The Card Player (2004)
Il cartaio
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The Card Player (2004) More at IMDbPro »Il cartaio (original title)

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The Card Player -- A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpool 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.


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4.9/10   4,216 votes »
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Dario Argento (screenplay)
Dario Argento (story)
View company contact information for The Card Player on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 January 2004 (Italy) See more »
A serial killer with a vice for Video Poker.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Better than expected See more (70 total) »


  (in credits order)

Stefania Rocca ... Anna Mari

Liam Cunningham ... John Brennan

Silvio Muccino ... Remo
Adalberto Maria Merli ... Police Commissioner

Claudio Santamaria ... Carlo Sturni
Fiore Argento ... Lucia Marini

Cosimo Fusco ... Berardelli

Mia Benedetta ... Francesca
Giovanni Visentin ... C.I.D. Chief
Claudio Mazzenga ... Mario
Conchita Puglisi ... Marta
Micaela Pignatelli ... Professor Terzi
Luis Molteni ... Pathologist
Carlo Giuseppe Gabardini ... Anti-Hacker #1
Alessandro Mistichelli ... Anti-Hacker #2
Francesco Guzzo ... Anti-Hacker #3
Pier Maria Cecchini ... Flying Squad Chief (as Piermaria Cecchini)

Jennifer Poli ... Christine Girdler, First Victim

Elisabetta Rocchetti ... Second Victim
Irene Quagliarella ... Friend of the Second Victim
Vera Gemma ... Third Victim
Ulisse Minervini ... Alvaro
Antonio Cantafora ... Vice Squad Chief Marini

Mario Opinato ... Inspector Morgani
Gualtiero Scola ... Crime Scene Investigator

Robert Madison ... Gustavo
Emanuel Bevilacqua ... Slot Machine Arcade Owner

Robert Dawson ... Embassy Employee
Adriana Fonzi Cruciani ... Bunny
Carla Fonzi Cruciani ... Bunny's Sister
Elena Falgheri ... Teacher
Michele Pellegrini ... Young Man
Isabella Celani ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Francis Pardeilhan ... Carlo Sturni (voice)
Fiore Cosimo ... Police Operator (uncredited)

Lynn Swanson ... C.I.D. wife (uncredited)
Franco Vitale ... Police Photographer (uncredited)

Directed by
Dario Argento 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dario Argento  screenplay
Dario Argento  story
Jay Benedict  dialogue
Franco Ferrini  screenplay
Franco Ferrini  story
Phoebe Scholfield  dialogue

Produced by
Claudio Argento .... executive producer
Dario Argento .... producer
Original Music by
Claudio Simonetti 
Cinematography by
Benoît Debie 
Film Editing by
Walter Fasano 
Casting by
Fabrizio Bava 
Production Design by
Marina Pinzuti Ansolini 
Massimo Antonello Geleng  (as Antonello Geleng)
Art Direction by
Massimo Antonello Geleng 
Costume Design by
Patrizia Chericoni 
Florence Emir 
Makeup Department
Bernadette Grampa .... makeup artist
Fabrizio Nanni .... key hair stylist
Raffaella Ragazzi .... makeup artist
Production Management
Gianluca Borelli Stracca .... unit manager
Tommaso Calevi .... production supervisor
Riccardo Folgore .... unit production manager
Irma Misantoni .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fabrizio Bava .... first assistant director
Francesco Perri .... second assistant director
Marco Santoro .... third assistant director
Art Department
Milo Geleng .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Tullio Arcangeli .... additional sound effects
Tullio Arcangeli .... sound designer
Piergiorgio De Luca .... sound effects editor
Maurizio Di Coste .... sound mixer
Tommaso Quattrini .... sound
Bruno Ventura .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Danilo Bollettini .... special effects
David Bracci .... special mechanical effects
Maurizio Corridori .... special effects
Francesca R. Di Nunzio .... sculptor
Barbara Morosetti .... models
Franco Ragusa .... special effects
Sergio Stivaletti .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Simone Fontana .... digital mastering editor
Giulia Infurna .... digital compositor
Gian Luca Rizzo .... visual effects producer
Giuseppe Squillaci .... visual effects: Proxima
Sergio Stivaletti .... visual effects
Paolo Verrucci .... digital mastering colorist
David Ambrosi .... stunt double
Massimiliano Bianchi .... stunt rigger
Alessandro Borgese .... stunt performer
Riccardo Mioni .... stunt coordinator
Stefano Maria Mioni .... stunt coordinator
Emiliano Novelli .... stunt double
Valentina Paradiso .... stunt double
Franco Maria Salamon .... stunt supervisor
Massimiliano Ubaldi .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Alessandro Bolognesi .... Steadicam operator
Claudio Del Gobbo .... grip
Stefano Di Pasquali .... additional grip
Stefano Marino .... gaffer
Giorgio Pezzotti .... grip
Cristiano Sergioli .... grip truck
Franco Vitale .... still photographer
Casting Department
Carol L. Dudley .... casting: UK
Editorial Department
Alessandro Di Cola .... second assistant editor
Maria Cristina Marra .... assistant editor
Sarah McTeigue .... assistant editor
Irma Misantoni .... first assistant editor
Irma Misantoni .... post-production coordinator
Simone Rosati .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Bruno Ventura .... music editor
Other crew
Carla Alonzo .... production secretary
Maria Rita Gagliano .... payroll accountant
Marcello Lanza .... production accountant
Luca Padrini .... production assistant
Lynn Swanson .... dialogue coach

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il cartaio" - Italy (original title)
See more »
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Stefania Rocca spent a lot of time with four Roman policewomen to witness them in action throughout their daily routines.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) (TV)See more »


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23 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Better than expected, 17 August 2004
Author: jhs39 from Chicago, IL

Dario Argento's new thriller about a serial killer who forces the police to play video poker against him in order to save the lives of women he has kidnapped doesn't rank with the director's best work, but it is fast paced and entertaining if you aren't expecting too much.

After the disastrous Phanton of the Opera Argento made Sleepless, which was a self-conscious attempt to duplicate the success of his 1970's giallos, down to giving long defunct group Goblin credit for the soundtrack. Sleepless was certainly watchable, but it felt more like an Argento rip-off by an inferior director rather than the real thing, like the master had somehow turned into Antonio Bido or Luigi Cosi.

This time around Argento makes a movie that is less obviously grounded in his own previous success--The Card Player is far more generic than Sleepless, but since Argento isn't trying so hard to recapture past magic the film tends to work much better.

Unfortunately plotting and characterization have always been his achilles heel. Classic Argento films are about set-pieces and style, not plot. Stendhal Syndrome suffered because it turned into a character driven psychological thriller, which didn't play to his strengths as a filmmaker. The Card Player is largely plot-driven, lacking the stylistic flourishes and memorable set-pieces that defined his classic films and also offset his weaknesses as a writer. The Card Player generally feels like a made for TV crime thriller or even a pilot for a potential television show.

But while The Card Player isn't great or even mildly believable it is pretty fun on a cheesy B movie level, and the finale involving a handcuff key, a racing train and a lap-top manages to capture the delirious goofiness that came easily to the director back when he made Phenomena and Deep Red. It's not hard to imagine Argento giggling when he came up with his climactic scene and the sense of fun is infectious.

Most fans have probably accepted by now that Dario Argento isn't the filmmaker he was twenty years ago and that he will likely never make another classic thriller, but The Card Player is at least good enough not to disappoint, given the lowered expectations that now inevitably greet one of his movies. For me this was easily his best since Trauma. It also offers reason for optimism: Sleepless was a huge improvement over Phantom of the Opera and The Card Player is better than Sleepless, giving fans a reason to look forward to his next film.

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