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L'assassino... è al telefono (1972)

A woman whose husband was murdered five years previously, is stalked by his killer, who wants to eliminate her as a potential witness. What he doesn't know is that the shock of his murder ... See full summary »


Alberto De Martino

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Credited cast:
Telly Savalas ... Ranko Drasovic
Anne Heywood ... Eleanor Loraine
Osvaldo Ruggieri Osvaldo Ruggieri ... Thomas Brown
Giorgio Piazza Giorgio Piazza ... George
Willeke van Ammelrooy ... Dorothy
Rossella Falk ... Margaret Vervoort
Antonio Guidi Antonio Guidi ... Dr Chandler
Roger Van Hool ... Peter Vervoort
Ada Pometti Ada Pometti ... Nurse
Alessandro Perrella Alessandro Perrella ... Psychiatrist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marc Audier Marc Audier
Piet Balfoort Piet Balfoort
Georges Bossair Georges Bossair
Sandra L. Brennan Sandra L. Brennan
Suzy Falk Suzy Falk


A woman whose husband was murdered five years previously, is stalked by his killer, who wants to eliminate her as a potential witness. What he doesn't know is that the shock of his murder caused her to have amnesia, and she doesn't remember anything. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TELLY SAVALAS on the other side of the law!




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Italy | Belgium



Release Date:

July 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scenes from a Murder See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Black Christmas (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

The Italian/Belgian Connection
18 October 2016 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

There were five main reasons why "The Killer is on the Phone" stood on top of my watch list, and they all add up to each other! Number one: it's an Italian giallo! This perverted and violent type of whodunit-thriller is my favorite sub genre of horror and it's my personal mission to track down every single and most obscure installment ever made! Number two: it's an Italian giallo from the magical year 1972! They heyday of my favorite sub genre was relatively short, give or take from the mid-sixties to the mid- seventies, but the early seventies were the best years and 1972 in particular with too many brilliant gialli to list ("What have you done to Solange?", "Don't Torture a Duckling", "Who Saw Her Die?", "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times" and about fifteen more). Number three: it's an Italian giallo from the magical year 1972 and directed by Alberto De Martino! Mr. De Martino perhaps wasn't the greatest cult director from Italy, but he did courageously attempt to cash in on every trend and his movies are always massively entertaining ("The Antichrist", "Blazing Magnum", "Holocaust 2000", "The Puma Man"…). Number four: it's an Italian giallo from the magical year 1972, directed by Alberto De Martino and starring Telly Savalas! That's right, the one and only Kojak and former Ernst Stavro Blofeld makes a rare giallo appearance here! Savalas was and forever remains a monument of 70s cult cinema and here in this movie he gets to do what he does best: stand around silently and look ultimately menacing! Number five: it's an Italian giallo from the magical year 1972, directed by Alberto De Martino and starring Telly Savalas, AND entirely shot on location in my native country Belgium! Admittedly that last little detail meant the cherry on the cake for me. For some unknown reason, they shot the film in Belgium instead of Italy and it's fantastic to see familiar places pop up in a giallo, like the Ostend ferry port or this beautiful park in Bruges. Hence there also was the opportunity for Willeke Van Ammelrooy, an actress only famous in Belgium and The Netherlands thus far, to receive a bit more international recognition.

Of course, considering all the above points, you'd think that I'm extremely biased and couldn't possibly write a properly objective review about "The Killer is on the Phone". Not true, in fact, because even though I'm incredibly happy that I was finally able to watch this movie, I do reckon that it's merely just a mediocre effort that probably won't even make my giallo top 50. The main shortcomings here are definitely the slow pacing, the unnecessarily complex and illogical plot and – most of all – the lack of violence and perversity. Theater actress Eleanor Lorraine spots a bald and uncanny man at a drinking fountain and faints. This was the same man who murdered her beloved husband five years ago, but because of the shock she suffers from amnesia and doesn't remember anything that happened in the past five years, including the killer's identity. The killer – Ranko Drasovic – doesn't know Eleanor's memory is gone, so he starts stalking her and plans to get rid of the witness. Meanwhile, Eleanor's surrounding also face many issues. She doesn't recognize both her new husband and her lover, and she has forgotten all her lines of the stage play that premieres the next Saturday. The script surely has a lot of potential and features a handful of great ideas, but the elaboration is poor and implausible. Eleanor suffers from a severe case of amnesia, yet everybody allows her to wander around town on her own and hold private investigations without offering her help or support. The killer has numerous of opportunities to eliminate her quickly but prefers to observe her endlessly, instead… probably just to stretch the running time. Oh, and by the way, so much for the film's title, as the killer only calls her house once and that sequence is rather irrelevant because there isn't an actual telephone conversation going on… The last 10- 15 minutes feature a few suspenseful moments and typically absurd giallo-twists, including the chase behind the theater scenes and the truth regarding her husband's death, but it's not enough to save the film. Stelvio Cipriani provides a marvelous musical score, as usual, and furthermore this film only proves that Bruges is a beautiful city; 36 years before the blockbuster hit "In Bruges" did the same.

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