6.8/10
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La coda dello scorpione (1971)

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.

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 ... Peter Lynch
Anita Strindberg ... Cléo Dupont
Alberto de Mendoza ... John Stanley
Ida Galli ... Lisa Baumer (as Evelyn Stewart)
Janine Reynaud ... Lara Florakis
Luigi Pistilli ... Inspector Stavros
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Mr. Brenton
Luis Barboo ... Sharif
Lisa Leonardi Lisa Leonardi ... Hostess (as Annalisa Nardi)
Tomás Picó Tomás Picó ... George Barnet
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Storyline

A plane explodes; one passenger is a London businessman who's insured for $1 million. His unfaithful wife is the beneficiary. The insurance agency arranges to pay, but also assigns their top investigator, Peter Lynch, to sniff out irregularities. The widow goes to Greece for the payout; Peter follows her, introducing himself. He becomes her protector and her companion, but the relationship is short lived. She has decided to take the money in cash and plans an immediate trip to Tokyo. Is she guilty of her husband's murder, and if so, who's her accomplice? An Athenian police inspector, an Interpol agent, and a French photojournalist join Lynch in the investigation. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

16 August 1971 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cauda do Escorpião See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

70mm blow-up version released in Spain. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lisa Baumer: Hello, this is Lisa. Yes, it's alright. Yes, his plane will be leaving in a few minutes. You know I'm dying to see you. Soon, hurry darling, I'll be waiting. Bye.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in FantastiCozzi (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ticks most of the giallo boxes in style.
24 January 2016 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Lisa Baumer (Ida Galli) collects on her husband's life insurance—a cool $1m—after he is blown to smithereens in an air disaster. Several people suspect Lisa of foul play, including a junkie ex-lover who resorts to blackmail, her husband's mistress Lara (Janine Reynaud), who also feels entitled to some of the money, and insurance investigator Peter Lynch (George Hilton). But when Lisa is murdered after cashing her check, and the money goes missing, the case becomes much more complicated…

Sergio Martino's The Case of the Scorpion's Tail might not be the most innovative of giallos, but it does meet many fans' expectations of the genre, making it a very enjoyable way to waste some time.

An animal in the title: the insect of the title refers to the Scorpion-shaped cuff-link discovered at the scene of an attempted murder.

A convoluted plot: this one's got twists and turns aplenty, making it a thoroughly engrossing mystery from start to finish A character struggling to recall a vital clue: Peter Linch is convinced that he knows something that will help to solve the case.

Red herrings: there are lots of these, but to tell you about them would be to spoil the film.

Exotic locations: the film opens in London, but the action soon moves to sun-kissed Athens.

Stylish cinematography and lighting: Martino employs some crazy camera angles to help spice up proceedings, and lights certain scenes with vivid colour.

Sexy women in peril: there are several Euro-babes in this giallo, a couple of whom meet very nasty fates. Anita Strindberg as French photojournalist Cléo Dupont, Peter's love interest, provides the obligatory T&A, happily showing off her '70s silicone implants.

Creepy dolls/freaky paintings: it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the story, but there is a scene featuring several dolls with missing eyes and limbs, and a portrait of a man with bug-eyes.

Gruesome murders: Martino ensures that gore-hounds are kept happy with two bloody throat slashings, a nasty knife in the abdomen, an even nastier broken bottle in the eye, and a victim having the back of their hands slashed with a switchblade before falling from a height to their death.

A leather-gloved killer: goes without saying.

Blatant product placement: fancy a glass of J&B Scotch? You might do after watching this film.

Cops who figure out the truth in the nick of time: the law waits till the very last moment before arriving on the scene to save the heroine.

In fact, all that's missing is a haunting lullaby/nursery rhyme.

7.5/10, happily rounded up to 8 for IMDb.


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