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Nel silenzio della notte (1977)

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Cast overview:
Stella Carnacina ...
Viviana Riggio
Siria Betti ...
Proprietaria pensione
...
Adolfo Fioresi
Lorenza Guerrieri ...
Sibilla Quest
...
Brigadiere Raso
Mario Erpichini ...
Magistrato
Giorgio Favretto ...
Primo agente
Germano Longo ...
Secondo agente
Silvano Tranquilli ...
Stefanio Riggio
Valeria Fabrizi ...
Mado Fioresi
Elio Zamuto ...
Aurelio Sirtori
Flora Lillo ...
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NEL SILENZIO DELLA NOTTE (TV) (Mario Caiano, 1977) **1/2
16 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

This obscure giallo – which, being a modest made-for-TV effort, runs just 64 minutes (the 93-minute length given by some sources is obviously wrong since the narrative is already extremely involved as it is!) – has been a staple on late-night Italian TV over the last few years. I’d always been curious about it, since TV guides listed the involvement of director Caiano (NIGHTMARE CASTLE [1965], NAZI LOVE CAMP 27 [1977], etc.) and actor Silvano Tranquilli (a genre regular, as well as many a poliziottesco) – actually, the cast features a couple more familiar faces (Alfredo Lastretti and Elio Zamuto) in important roles.

The plot is told in flashback – so that we start off with a number of gunshots (resulting in two corpses) and a female figure fleeing the scene of the crime; later on, it’s established that another murder had occurred some time before which is directly linked to this incident. Eventually, it transpires that infidelity, blackmail, impersonation, jealousy, frame-up and revenge all play a part in the ‘game’ centering around three different families from the same remote town. As ever with this type of film, then, we get shady characters aplenty, a handful of good-looking women and a dash of violence (though, understandably, little action per se) – thus making for a fairly compelling and entertaining ride; interestingly, one of the deaths is actually left hanging as the cop on the case can only offer suppositions as to the identity of the true killer.

As I said, given the narrative’s obvious compactness, it barely pauses for breath as we’re dealt one twist after another; however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was far from a rushed, casually assembled affair – the limitations of video, especially where interiors are concerned (evident even in English-speaking TV-films from the same era), should be mentioned but this in no way impedes the unfolding drama from achieving its intended effect.

For the record, I own a good many effort from the golden age of Italian TV-movies and serials but have only had the chance to sample a very select few; by the way, I also number Caiano’s vintage peplum ERIK THE VIKING (1965; presumably no relation to the disastrous 1989 sub-Monty Python epic comedy of the same name which was partly filmed in Malta) in my maddeningly bottomless “To Watch” pile…


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