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The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971)

Lo strano vizio della signora Wardh (original title)
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An ambassador's wife discovers that one of the men in her life - either her husband, an ex-lover or her current lover - may be a vicious serial killer.

Director:

Sergio Martino

Writers:

Eduardo Manzanos (story) (as Eduardo M. Brochero), Eduardo Manzanos (screenplay) (as Eduardo M. Brochero) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Hilton ... George Corro
Edwige Fenech ... Julie Wardh
Conchita Airoldi ... Carol Brandt (as Cristina Airoldi)
Manuel Gil ... Dr. Arbe (as Manuel Gill)
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Commissioner
Ivan Rassimov ... Jean
Alberto de Mendoza ... Neil Wardh
Bruno Corazzari ... Killer
Marella Corbi Marella Corbi ... Victim who escapes from the killer
Miguel del Castillo Miguel del Castillo ... Spanish Doctor
Luis de Tejada Luis de Tejada ... The inspector
Brizio Montinaro Brizio Montinaro ... Ospite Al party
Pouchi Pouchi ... Victim in the shower (as Pouchie)
Mira Vidotto Mira Vidotto ... Cameriera Della Wardh
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Storyline

Mrs. Julie Wardh returns to Vienna with her husband Neil Wardh, who is an investor in Wall Street. Julie and Neil have been married for one year but they do not love each other. Julie has a trauma from her former boyfriend Jean, who was a sadistic man. While Neil has meetings in Austria, Julie spends he vacation with her friend Carol Brandt. They go to a party where Carol introduces her handsome cousin George Corro, who has just inherited a fortune with her. When Julie sees Jean in the party, she decides to leave the place. Soon Julie, who is neglected by Neil, has a love affair with George. Meanwhile a serial-killer that kills women with a razor blade is terrifying Vienna and the inspector has no lead to follow. When Julie is blackmailed because of her love affair with George, she suspects Jean might be the blackmailer. Carol decides to go to the meeting with the blackmailer and is killed. Julie believes that Jean might be the wanted killer and decides to leave Vienna and Neil to go ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Did you read about what happened to the poor girl in the shower?... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | Austria

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

13 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blade of the Ripper See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 57415 delivered on 23-12-1970. See more »

Goofs

When Julie hears the bellboy knock at the apartment door, she puts on a blue bathrobe without a belt. When she looks through the peephole to see who it is, she is wearing the same bathrobe, but as soon as she opens the door the robe has suddenly acquired a belt. See more »

Quotes

George Corro: My specialty is courting ladies in the presence of their husbands.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The very fact that the commandment says "do not kill" makes us aware and convinced that we are descended from an unbroken chain of generations of assassins, for whom the love of murder was in their blood, as it is perhaps in ours." - Sigmund Freud See more »

Connections

Version of Aska Susayanlar: Seks ve Cinayet (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic example of the Giallo genre!
4 November 2002 | by jlabineSee all my reviews

Sergio Martino's giallo masterpiece `The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh' (also under the inferior titles: `Next Victim' or `Blade Of The Ripper') is one of the best films in the Italian cult genre. This was Sergio Martino's first (er..um..excuse the pun) stab at a Giallo thriller, and it's one that defines the genre as much as Argento's `The Bird With The Crystal Plummage'. Directed in 1970, Sergio Martino set the standard for Italian Hitchcockian slasher films. His use of fancy camera angles to explore the art of killing is quite entertaining while at the same time unsettling (an example of this, has a man being shot while we see it happen in the sunglasses of the killer). Sergio Martino also incorporates a surreal travelogue of exotic locations (all the characters seem to be on permanent holiday) and erotic imagery, which depicts the Italians as the ultra hip jet setters of the 70's. Mixing the seductive and intense music of Nora Orlandi with these visuals, the viewer is captivated by a darker attraction, which cannot be justified. The viewer is barraged with misogynistic violence and female cruelty, while simultaneously being lured into the debauchery setting through the lush veneer. The film also weaves a convoluted plot, that has more then one murderer (I counted four!), and everyone seems guilty. Fresh from the Spaghetti Western genre, actor George Hilton was beginning to make himself a name in the Giallo world. Though he'd previously been in `The Sweet Body Of Deborah', `The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh' was a meatier role. This film would also be the first of several that paired George Hilton with Edwige Fenech, as they continued to be the tortured couple in various Giallo outings. As a couple, George Hilton and Edwige Fenech seemed to represent exactly where Italy was at in the 70's. They were completely hedonistic, beautiful, rich, sexy, and free with passion yet completely shallow. They maybe shallow, but they are still more beautiful and nicer then the victims around them. It's the cardboard beauty that is the allure, yet their characters are never allowed to develop to be anything more then pawns for the mystery at hand. They represent our shallow fantasies, and unreal nightmares they represent a dream state. Ever notice how the characters never converse, but rather make statements, it never feels real. Along the way, we are introduced to other characters played by genre regulars Ivan Rassimov and Alberto de Mendoza. The story proceeds with a killing of a prostitute in a car by a sex crazed maniac. Then it moves on to Julie Wardh (Edwige Fenech) a rich wife to an Ambassador Neil Wardh (Alberto de Mendoza) who is being harassed by her ex-boyfriend Jean (Ivan Rassimov) who used to violently have sex with her. At a party she meets George (George Hilton) a handsome playboy, who likes to drive fast on motorcycles and wear white leather fringed jackets and aviator sunglasses. Suddenly the sex crazed murderer begins to kill women around her, while psychologically torturing her. The film lifts a reference or two from Psycho (there's a shower murder) and other Hitchcock films, but one must realize that this film fits into a genre known as Giallo, which is unique in it's own way. Though homage is paid to American mystery films, these films are still very much a product of Italy. It's this very genre that influenced `Dressed To Kill' and other American slasher films, not the other way around. It's these films that have the stylistic flair, where the likes of DePalma learn their craft by stealing. Some call it Euro Trash, or exploitative, but they refuse to see the finer aesthetic of the film. It's really just exploring the art of murder. This film is a must see for fans of Italian genre cinema, and should be done in widescreen. Highly recommended!


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