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Don't Look Now (1973)

A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writers:

Daphne Du Maurier (story), Allan Scott (screenplay) (as Alan Scott) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,399 ( 329)

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Christie ... Laura Baxter
Donald Sutherland ... John Baxter
Hilary Mason ... Heather
Clelia Matania ... Wendy
Massimo Serato ... Bishop Barbarrigo
Renato Scarpa ... Inspector Longhi
Giorgio Trestini Giorgio Trestini ... Workman
Leopoldo Trieste ... Hotel Manager
David Tree ... Anthony Babbage
Ann Rye Ann Rye ... Mandy Babbage
Nicholas Salter Nicholas Salter ... Johnny Baxter
Sharon Williams ... Christine Baxter
Bruno Cattaneo Bruno Cattaneo ... Detective Sabbione
Adelina Poerio ... Dwarf
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Storyline

John and Laura Baxter are in Venice when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic. She insists that she sees the spirit of the Baxters' daughter, who recently drowned. Laura is intrigued, but John resists the idea. He, however, seems to have his own psychic flashes, seeing their daughter walk the streets in her red cloak, as well as Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pass the warning. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

January 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inverno de Sangue em Veneza See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finding an appropriate church proved difficult: after visiting most of the churches in Venice, the Italian location manager suggested constructing one in a warehouse. The discovery of San Nicolò was particularly fortuitous since it was currently being renovated and the scaffolding was already in place, the circumstances lending themselves well to the plot of the film. See more »

Goofs

When John sets Laura off on the boat, just before she enters the boat they hug and kiss and the camera is on the inside of the boat filming them while they're on the pier. The next shot is the same shot all over again only from the different angle (now the camera is on the pier as well). Although they had just hugged and kissed they did it once more, filmed from a different angle. See more »

Quotes

Heather: One of the things I love about Venice, is that it's so safe for me to walk.
John Baxter: Steps.
Heather: Thank you... The sound changes, you see, as you come to a canal. And the echoes from the walls are so clear... My sister hates it.
John Baxter: That's too bad.
Heather: She says it's like a city in aspic, wrapped over from a dinner party, where all the guests are dead or gone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The region 1 DVD released by Paramount contains the full love scene which was slightly trimmed for an "R" rating in the U.S. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dark Water (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Lu Primmo Ammore
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Giorgio Gaber, Umberto Simonetta and Enrico Vaime
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The zenith of movie-making
17 December 1998 | by LukeSSee all my reviews

People want and expect different things from movies. What engages and captivates one person can just as easily displease and repulse another (see Titanic). Sometimes, a film simply doesn't register beyond the viewer's walk/drive home (this criminal offense is not exclusively a phenomenon of the 1990s in spite of the last decade's distinct dearth of memorable films). Don't Look Now, however, is a film which cannot fail to last long in the mind.

It is easy to love the film for its rare depth of character, its beautiful yet disturbing plot, the stunning Venice setting, the tender and original love scene or just for Donald Sutherland's never-rivalled wig! I am sure, however, that people find it easy to fault the film because it doesn't neatly tie up loose ends, because it is dark and depressing (the film's extensive reach encompasses death, loss, murder, blindness, religion and dwarfism) and because film-making conventions are abandoned.

The source material of Du Maurier's short story provides only a meagre framework onto which screenwriters Scott and Bryant have fleshed a stunning adaptation. Roeg's visual and emotional style of directing has never been so perfectly showcased as in Don't Look Now. How many more times can film-makers and advertisers steal (or "pay homage to") Roeg's ingenious work? Julie Christie is luminous and pulls the viewer with her through Laura's painful journey after the film's shocking opening. Sutherland's performance is stellar as well. His character, John, is like a Hitchcockian fall-guy with real personality and depth. You are swept along through the canals and narrow avenues with him as Pino Donaggio's stirring music both chills and lulls.

Films made in the tone of Don't Look Now are so rare these days. I am not an old fuddy-duddy who complains that "they don't make 'em like they used to" but am simply a slightly disillusioned film fan who wishes there were just a few more film-makers willing to take chances and not follow the dull formulaic line. What was the last film that stayed with you long after you saw it? It always sounds like a cliche when some obsessed fan tells you a film haunted them for days but Don't Look Now has a curious effect on the viewer. Its intensity grows. Different parts of the film mull around in your mind. You don't think about individual 'scenes' from the film either, you think about the situations, the people, the feelings. All of which is testament to the roundly drawn characterisation and elegant (yet not contrived) structure of the film.

If you haven't seen Don't Look Now before then you have a treat awaiting you. If you have seen it - see it again and marvel at a profound, eery, haunting, moving and beautiful film. If it disappoints you that films of such indelible and recurring substance like this are thin on the ground (Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver and The Conversation had similar effects on me) then do not hesitate to picket the next showing of....(OUT OF RESPECT TO IMDB'S CONTENT GUIDELINES I WON'T NAME TITLE OF MORONIC HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS AND THE LIKE)!


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