A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani.Written by
Giancarlo Cairella <email@example.com>
During the nighttime burglary at the Terzi institute a doctor can be clearly heard whistling Ennio Morricone's tune from former Dario Argento's movie The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) opening. See more »
The barber shaves the right side of Giordano's face twice. See more »
The former journalist Franco Arno (Karl Malden) is a retired blind man that likes crosswords and lives with his orphan niece Lori (Cinzia De Carolis) nearby the Terzi Institute. While walking with Lori on the street, he overhears a strange conversation of two men in a car parked in front of the institute and he asks Lori to watch their faces. In the same night, there is a break in the institute with an attempt of heist. On the next morning, the researcher Dr. Calabresi (Carlo Alighiero) dies in the train station and the police believe that it was an accident. However, Lori recognizes the picture of the scientist in the newspaper as one of the men in the car. Franco contacts the snoopy reporter Carlo Giordano (James Franciscus) and asks him to blow up the picture and examine the details. The photographer discovers that Dr. Calabresi was pushed off from the platform but he is also killed and the photograph vanishes. After their preliminary investigation, they find that the scientists are researching a revolutionary drug and a genetic experiment of XYY chromosomes associated to delinquency for the government and they conclude that there are nine leads to be followed: each of the five assistants of the institute (Dr. Calabresi; Dr. Esson; Dr. Mobelli; Dr. Casoni; and the gay Dr. Braun); the stepdaughter of Prof. Fulvio Terzi, Anna Terzi; the fiancée of Dr. Calabresi, Bianca Merusi; the missing photograph; and the robbery of the institute.
The suspenseful "Il Gatto a Nove Code" is the second film in the career of the director Dario Argento and despite the flaws, it is an entertaining conventional thriller. The association of Giordano with Arno is implausible; the unethical way that Giordano works, breaking in the residences is unacceptable for an experienced reporter; the one night stand of Giordano and Anna has no chemistry or eroticism; the car race of Anna is pointless; the edition of the accident of Dr. Calabresi is poor. But there are good moments, like the angles of camera in the stairways, or when Giordano brings two glasses of milk toward Anna. The deduction of Arno that Bianca has hiding the note in the watch in the necklace is unconvincing. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil) "O Gato de Nove Caudas" ("The Cat of Nine Tails")
Note: On 12 March 2016 I saw this film again.
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