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The Designated Victim (1971)

La vittima designata (original title)
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1:12 | Trailer
A wealthy, decadent count convinces a disillusioned playboy that they shall murder one another's relatives, to get away with the perfect crime. The count murders the playboy's unpleasant ... See full summary »

Director:

Maurizio Lucidi

Writers:

Fulvio Gicca Palli (screenplay) (as Fulvio Gicca), Augusto Caminito (story) | 6 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tomas Milian ... Stefano Augenti
Pierre Clémenti ... Count Matteo Tiepolo
Katia Christine ... Fabienne Béranger
Luigi Casellato Luigi Casellato ... Commissario Finzi
Marisa Bartoli Marisa Bartoli ... Luisa Augenti
Ottavio Alessi Ottavio Alessi ... Balsamo
Alessandra Cardini Alessandra Cardini ... Christina Müller (as Sandra Cardini)
Enzo Tarascio Enzo Tarascio ... Del Bosco
Carla Mancini Carla Mancini
Bruno Boschetti Bruno Boschetti ... Augenti's Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Giuseppe Alotta Giuseppe Alotta ... Deputy Commissioner
Renée Lorena Renée Lorena ... German Stranded at the Airport
Vittorio Pinelli Vittorio Pinelli ... Airport Pay Park Attendant
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Storyline

A wealthy, decadent count convinces a disillusioned playboy that they shall murder one another's relatives, to get away with the perfect crime. The count murders the playboy's unpleasant wife. Now the playboy finds he cannot keep his end of the bargain, while the police finger him for the murder. Written by Joe Arthur <tenebrae50@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | French | German

Release Date:

22 April 1971 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Designated Victim See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (inserts only)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #57933 delivered on 30-3-1971. See more »

Connections

Version of Throw Momma from the Train (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

My Shadow in the Dark
Sung by Tomas Milian
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting thriller, but a bit too high brow for it's own good
27 August 2009 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The influence for this film is clear; it's basically an Italian twist on the Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. Being a big fan of that film, I was of course intrigued to see how this was going to turn out. I wont say I was too disappointed overall, but it's nowhere near as good as the original and certainly could have been a lot better. The main problem with it is that director Maurizio Lucidi has aimed too high; it's clear he wanted this to be a high quality thriller rather than a slice of Italian exploitation - and personally I'd rather it have been the latter. The basics of the plot will be familiar to most fans of thrillers, and in this film we focus on Stefano Argenti, an advertising executive who is at odds with his wife over the sale of a joint business. He wants rid of it so he can live a life of luxury with his mistress; but his wife wont agree the sale. Stefano meets Count Mateo Tiepolo, who it transpires, is at odds with his violent brother. Mateo suggests a plan in which each man murder the other's vice; though Stefano is reluctant. But then Mateo kills Stefano's wife, and demands that the favour is returned.

The lead roles are taken by Tomas Milian and Pierre Clémenti, and both perform well and share an intriguing (almost homo-erotic) bond on screen together. The plot itself is rather slowly paced and it has to be said there's not a great deal of excitement; I was never on the edge of my seat waiting to see what's going to happen, and that's unfortunate since the film is supposed to be a thriller. It's all very well orchestrated, however, and the film has themes that go deeper than merely what we're seeing on screen. Director Maurizio Lucidi obviously wanted to keep the film clean, and therefore we don't see any murders actually happen, which is a bit of a disappointment. The locations are all very beautiful and well shot, and this brilliantly offsets the dark themes of the film. The soundtrack is rather interesting also and not merely the norm for Giallo. The film deviates from Hitchcock's original with the ending, which features a clever twist; though I have to say I prefer how the original turned out. Overall, I would definitely say that this film is worth a look; however, I'd have preferred some more of the classic Giallo style.


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