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Danger: Diabolik (1968)

Diabolik (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Crime | May 1968 (USA)
International man of mystery Diabolik and his sensuous lover Eva Kant pull off heist after heist, all while European cops led by Inspector Ginko and envious mobsters led by Ralph Valmont are closing in on them.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Angela Giussani (story), Luciana Giussani (story) | 6 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Phillip Law ... Diabolik
Marisa Mell ... Eva Kant
Michel Piccoli ... Inspector Ginko
Adolfo Celi ... Ralph Valmont
Claudio Gora ... Police Chief
Mario Donen ... Sergeant Danek
Renzo Palmer Renzo Palmer ... Mr. Hammond - Second Minister of the Interior
Caterina Boratto ... Lady Clark
Lucia Modugno Lucia Modugno ... Prostitute
Annie Gorassini ... Rose
Carlo Croccolo Carlo Croccolo ... Lorry Driver
Lidia Biondi Lidia Biondi ... Policewoman (as Lidia Biondi C.S.C.)
Andrea Bosic Andrea Bosic ... Bank Manager
Federico Boido ... Joe - Valmont's Henchman
Tiberio Mitri Tiberio Mitri ... Valmont's Henchman
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Storyline

In psychedelic swinging 60s style, the dreaded thief (and killer) Diabolik wreaks havoc on a generic European country for his own financial gain and amusement. He shares an extravagant underground lair (and a giant bed of money) with his curvaceous, superficial girlfriend...who uses her awesome powers of wig-wearing to help Diabolik kill innocent people and steal billions from the government. Nonetheless, Diabolik is the "hero" of the film because he must face off against bumbling cops and revenge-seeking mafiosos. Written by Michael "Rabbit" Hutchison <rabhutch@spacestar.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Diabolik - a bank-robbing hood who battles the cops. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Danger: Diabolik See more »

Filming Locations:

Capri, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Seth Holt's initial version of the film, Diabolik and Eva Kant were played by Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, respectively. Both would later be paired with Mario Bava's Eva, Marisa Mell, in Lucio Fulci's Una sull'altra (1969). See more »

Goofs

When Diabolik steals the lorry the driver runs after it. Diabolik then drives it quite a distance before he jumps off. After the lorry runs off the road the driver stops to look at the accident. Then Diabolik and Eva drive past the lorry driver without him having noticed that Diabolik had run back to the car. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sergeant Danek: All right, how we doing?
Police Officer: The last bag.
[flicks through a small pile of white paper the size of dollar bills]
Police Officer: All plain paper. Hm, very clever! You know, I wonder how security would feel if they knew they were guarding waste paper instead of ten million dollars?
[puts the remaining "bills" into the bag]
Police Officer: Well, seems to be it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Region 1/NTSC DVD features English credits and an alternate English dub while many US VHS versions retain the Italian credits and a different English dub than the DVD. Both versions feature the voices of John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell and Terry-Thomas. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ninja Ryû Ken-den (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep Down
(uncredited)
Music by Ennio Morricone
Performed by Maria Cristina Brancucci
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How to enjoy this film
9 October 2009 | by clivey6See all my reviews

Watching the featurette that accompanies this DVD did help me to appreciate this movie more. Namely, that Diabolik (pronounced Dee-abolik in the Italian) is an anti-hero thief rather than a government sponsored spy and is all about 'sticking it to The Man' as befits the 1960s counterculture. Being Italian, it also contrasts with the American idea of a superhero. The Italians lost the last war, they had Mussolini and no faith in the government. This anti-hero is on the same page, whereas Superman is all in favour of the President. I suppose this is the superhero's answer to Burlesconi.

Point no 2: unlike Fleming's James Bond, Diabolik is based on a comic strip hero and many of the shots mirror that panel shape in the way they're framed: the shot of the couple talking, reflected in the rear view mirror of a car, for instance. For all that, the style is more dynamic than other comic-based films like Barbarella.

Otherwise, it's astonishing how many scenes anticipate similar ones in Bond films, from the opening helicopter car chase along the winding mountaintop road which predates that of The Spy Who Loved Me by nine years, along with other scenes that pop up in Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, A View to A Kill and GoldenEye.

Sadly Diabolik (played by John Philip Law, who was the angel in Barberella) is a humourless blank, a charisma-free zone who scarcely utters a witticism in the entire film. I think the only reason such lusty or promiscuous attitudes prevailed in the 1960s is because the likes of Sean Connery and Michael Caine put a positive spin on it.

This is a guy in superhero guise who has no alter ego - and therefore no social life. Batman has Bruce Wayne, Superman has Clark Kent. He is just Diabolik and when he retreats to his lair to bang his bird, fine, but he doesn't actually have any mates at all so it's hard to connect with him. It's like if Superman decided to not bother to save lives but just went on Viking-like pillages once in a while, holing up in the Fortress of Solitude every so often to shag his mistress and count the cash.

The anti-hero and his girl are so unlikeable and ruthless that you do feel excluded from their activities. They remind me of the charmless pair from Topaki, though the film has more to offer than that and is superior to many Bond knock-offs of the day.


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