An American expatriate in Rome witnesses an attempted murder that is connected to an ongoing killing spree in the city, and conducts his own investigation despite himself and his girlfriend being targeted by the killer.
In Italy, the American writer Sam Dalmas witnesses an attempt of murder of the owner of an art gallery, Monica Ranieri, a couple of days before returning home. Inspector Morosini, who is in charge of investigating the three previous murderers of the serial-killer, asks for help to Dalmas and takes his passport. Dalmas decides to stay with his girlfriend Julia and to help the police in the investigation. The killer threatens Dalmas and Julia by phone and the police overhears a strange noise in the tape. Soon the serial killer stalks Julia and Damas. Who might be the killer?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This played in a Milan cinema for 3 and a half years, such was the film's popularity in its native Italy. See more »
The rare Siberian bird from which the title of the film comes from is actually a Crowned Crane native to Africa. See more »
[final lines, voiceover]
I can hear it now: "Go to Italy. It's a peaceful country, nothing much ever happens there."
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Originally cut in the US by 20 seconds to achieve a US "G.P." rating with edits to a razor slashing (the Blue Underground DVD is uncut), and this print was then passed without further cuts for its original UK cinema release in 1970 (as "The Gallery Murders"). The film was re-released theatrically in the UK in 1983 (as "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage") and the full print submitted to the BBFC where it received 18 secs of cuts which removed all shots of a knife being traced over a woman on a bed and the slashing/removal of her nightdress and underwear. All video releases plus the 2005 Platinum Media DVD featured the same cut print, though the 2011 Arrow release finally presented the film fully uncut. See more »
Argento makes a name for himself with this slickly directed Giallo.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) was the film that made Argento a european sensation. His murder/mystery T.B.W.T.C.P. was hailed as a success and made him a star. This tense film is about a american who's caught up in a mysterious murder case. He decides to play Sherlock Holmes and find out who did it. A cool soundtrack, nifty direction and camera work makes this one and interesting watch. Recommended for Giallo fans and admirers of Dario Argento.
P.S. Watch out for people in brown raincoats who are armed with shiny cutlery!
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