6.8/10
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One on Top of the Other (1969)

Una sull'altra (original title)
An unscrupulous doctor is accused of murdering his asthmatic wife as part of an insurance scam, despite her apparent reemergence as a high-class stripper.

Director:

Lucio Fulci

Writers:

Roberto Gianviti (story), Lucio Fulci (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Sorel ... Dr. George Dumurrier
Marisa Mell ... Susan Dumurrier / Monica Weston
Elsa Martinelli ... Jane Bleeker
Alberto de Mendoza ... Henry Dumurrier
John Ireland ... Inspector Wald
Riccardo Cucciolla ... Benjamin Wormser
Bill Vanders Bill Vanders ... Insurance Agent
Franco Balducci Franco Balducci ... Officer Loveday
Giuseppe Addobbati ... Brent (as John Douglas)
Félix Dafauce ... Royal Insurance Official (as Felix de Fauce)
Jesús Puente ... Sergeant Rodriguez (as Jesus Puente)
George Rigaud ... Arthur Mitchell
Jean Sobieski Jean Sobieski ... Larry (as Jean Sobiesky)
Faith Domergue ... Marta / Martha
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Storyline

The wife of a doctor (Jean Sorel) is murdered. He had a mistress a long ago, since his wife (Marisa Mell) always begged herself out of engagements because she is a asthmatic. On the other hand, she enjoyed a part time job as a stripper. Did the doctor kill her? Written by Lukas Fichtinger <liderc@gmx.at>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A deadly game of living chess See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Perversion Story See more »

Filming Locations:

San Quentin, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

ITL 445,000,000 (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

Six degrees of "Diabolik": in 1965 British director Seth Holt set out to make a film out of the Italian comic strip "Diabolik", casting Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, who play Dr. George Dumurrier and Jane as Diabolik and his lover Eva Kant. The film never got beyond the planning stage, although photographs of the duo in costume survive. When Mario Bava successfully brought "Diabolik" to the screen three years later--Danger: Diabolik (1968)--Marisa Mell, who plays Susan/Monica, starred as Eva Kant. See more »

Goofs

The photo of George in the newspaper is clearly a still of him from a later scene in the film, where he visits The Roaring Twenties. See more »

Quotes

Monica Weston: [about to have sex with George] I hope you didn't mind being alone for a few minutes. I wanted to change into something nice; I think making love should be elegant, yet simple. You know... me and you. Nothing elaborate.
Dr. George Dumurrier: You don't go for threesomes?
Monica Weston: Depends on how much I get.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Marisa Mell and John Ireland, who are second and fifth-billed respectively on Italian prints, are top and fourth-billed on English prints. See more »

Alternate Versions

Mondo Macabro's Blu-ray will represent the first "composite" cut of the film, containing both the additional expository scenes from the Italian/English versions and the additional sex scenes from the French version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gone Girl (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No gore this time, but still a great Lucio Fulci film!
9 May 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

It's hard to believe that this thriller was directed by the same man who would go on to create such gory highlights as Zombie Flesh-Eaters and City of the Living Dead, but indeed this is a film from the Lucio Fulci that us gore hounds know and love. His later Giallo, such as A Lizard in Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling weren't as bloody as Fulci fans are used to, and this one is even less so; in fact, it isn't even a horror movie. Fulci does find time for graphic images, however, but things such as a badly decomposed corpse look out of place in a movie that is much more about mystery and suspense than shocking its audience. Fulci often doesn't get the respect he deserves when it comes to movie-making, and that's unfair as he really does know how to tell a story. One on Top of the Other focuses on themes of love and revenge, and follows the story of a doctor with a wife who suffers from chronic asthma. After her death, he is enticed to a nightclub along with his mistress, where he meets a young woman who is the double of his dead wife. Shortly thereafter, the corpse of his wife is unearthed and traces of poison are found in the body...

The film takes obvious influence from the great Alfred Hitchcock film 'Vertigo', but unlike a lot of Italian films from the sixties and seventies; this one is not merely a retread of its popular American influence. Fulci injects his own style and verve into the plot, and common Giallo elements such as crossed loyalties and compromising situation for the lead victim start to creep in. The acting on display here is superb, with Jean Sorel putting in a fabulous performance in the lead role in which he manages to captivate the audience and be convincing at the same time. The female leads are more striking; however, and both Marisa Mell and Elsa Martinelli get to act as well providing beautiful eye candy for the audience. Unlike a lot of Giallo's, this one takes place outside of Italy and makes San Francisco the central location. The landscapes look great, and the original jazz music by Riz Ortolani helps to ensure that swinging sixties feel comes across. There is a lack of murders in this film, which may disappoint Giallo and Fulci fans; but the intrigue that appears instead offsets this nicely, and overall I don't hesitate to say that One on Top of the Other is one of the great Giallo films!


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