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The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974)

Il profumo della signora in nero (original title)
Sylvia, an industrial scientist, is troubled by strange hallucinations related to the tragic suicide of her mother.


Francesco Barilli


Francesco Barilli (story), Massimo D'Avak (story) (as Massimo D'Avack) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mimsy Farmer ... Silvia Hacherman
Maurizio Bonuglia ... Roberto
Mario Scaccia ... Signor Rossetti
Jho Jhenkins Jho Jhenkins ... Andy
Nike Arrighi ... Orchidea
Lara Wendel ... Young Silvia (as Daniela Barnes)
Aleka Paizi Aleka Paizi ... Signorina Cardini (as Alexandra Paizi)
Renata Zamengo Renata Zamengo ... Marta - Silvia's Mother
Ugo Carboni Ugo Carboni ... Luigi - the Porter
Roberta Cadringher Roberta Cadringher ... The Antique Dealer
Sergio Forcina Sergio Forcina
Gabriele Bentivoglio Gabriele Bentivoglio ... Shop's Boy
Luigi Antonio Guerra Luigi Antonio Guerra ... Chemical Worker (as Luigi A. Guerra)
Carla Mancini ... Elisabetta
Donna Jordan Donna Jordan ... Francesca Vincenzi


Sylvia, an industrial scientist, is troubled by strange hallucinations related to the tragic suicide of her mother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Shot over the course of eight weeks. See more »


Referenced in Closed Circuit (1978) See more »

User Reviews

Worthy of a cult following.
17 February 2012 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Beautiful" and "stylish" are naturally two words that automatically come to mind when describing this odd, dreamy, haunting movie. It's definitely not the typical "giallo", as it's not so much about being a murder mystery as it is being a character profile and a "Repulsion" style story of one young woman's mental decline. Lovely Mimsy Farmer is the woman in question, Silvia Hacherman, a chemist with an unhappy past who begins to see things that she can't make sense of. She doesn't know if she can even trust the people who are part of her life, from her would-be boyfriend Roberto (Maurizio Bonuglia) to another friend, Andy (Jho Jhenkins) to her subtly creepy neighbour Mr. Rossetti (Mario Scaccia). Just who is the strange Woman in Black that Silvia sees in her mirror? Or the equally off putting little girl (Lara Wendel) who insists on being part of her life? Right from the start, "The Perfume of the Lady in Black" promises to be an interesting trip, accompanied by a wonderful music score composed by Nicola Piovani. The look of the movie always helps, also, in insuring that one wants to keep watching even though there are parts of the story that drag. Those viewers expecting more traditional thrills will have to wait until the very end for some juicy bits of gore (that actually seem out of place amidst the low key nature of the rest of the movie). Co- writer / director Francesco Barilli (who wrote the movie with Massimo D'Avak, whose credits include "Who Saw Her Die?" and "The Man from the Deep River") keeps us, along with his main character, off balance with his deft balancing of real and fantastical elements. By the time that his movie is over, it may well have provoked more questions than provided answers, but I agree with others that by this very nature this becomes a highly intriguing if not entirely successful psychological thriller, made at a time when that phrase hadn't yet been introduced into the lexicon. It certainly leaves the viewer to think about what they've seen afterwards. It's good material that is worth a look for adventurous fans of Italian cinema. Seven out of 10.

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Release Date:

4 April 1974 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

O Perfume da Senhora de Negro See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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