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Tarot (1973)

| Thriller | 1973 (Spain)
A beautiful young woman marries a blind old man for his money. She carries on an affair with her husband's valet, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder-for-money plot involving the household servants.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Angela
...
Arthur
...
Natalie
Christian Hay ...
Marc
Julián Ugarte ...
Maurice
Mara Goyanes ...
Rosa
Anne Libert ...
Coco
...
Comisario
...
Pastor (as Barta Barry)
Marisol Delgado ...
Connie
Frank Clement ...
Comisario #2
...
Doctor
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Storyline

A beautiful young woman marries a blind old man for his money. She carries on an affair with her husband's valet, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder-for-money plot involving the household servants.

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1973 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Autopsy  »

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2.35 : 1
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Some graphic sex scenes performed by Claudine Beccarie were added to the French version. See more »

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Edited into In the Shadow of the Sun (1981) See more »

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Breakdown
Music by Michel Colombier
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User Reviews

Lolita strikes again
19 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

A young American tourist (Sue Lyon) thinks she's hit the jackpot when a handsome Spaniard offers her money for sex. It turns out though he's procuring her for his blind, elderly employer (Fernando Rey). Embarrassed, she has sex with the old man anyway. He falls for her, and she in turn falls for the young servant. She and the servant agree that she should marry the blind old man, and then they can have access to his money while carrying on whenever he is out of earshot. Complicating matters, however, the servant himself is also sexually involved with the older head housekeeper (Gloria Grahame), who is suspicious (and jealous) of the new young lady of the house. Not surprisingly this all leads to murder.

This movie has a lot of the elements of an Italian giallo, especially the old-fashioned kind Carroll Baker often starred in the late 60's. Sue Lyon was actually kind of younger version of Carrol Baker. She got her start in the scandalous Stanley Kubrick film "Lolita" where Baker got her start in the similarly notorious "Baby Doll". Like Baker, Lyon basically left Hollywood for Europe because her reputation was in tatters after an interracial marriage (no big deal today, but unheard of in the 1960s). She was really no better nor no worse an actress than Baker, but she really doesn't throw herself into this erotic role the way the older actress would have. Lyon is definitely attractive (and has brief nude scenes), but she adds only enough sex appeal here to make this movie kind of tepid, where it easily could have been very erotic and perverse with a stronger central performance. Luckily, two old pros are on hand in the form of Spanish actor Fernando Rey (who starred in several Bunuel films) and American Gloria Graham (whose interesting career stretched from 50's film noir to the 70's American drive-in).

The Spanish director Jose-Maria Forque had directed the Spanish-Italian giallo "In the Eye of the Hurricane" and would go onto direct the sordid but entertaining "Beyond Erotica". This film actually has slightly higher pretensions than your typical giallo. As another reviewer mentioned, it does seem like a kind of loose adaptation of the novel "Laughter in the Dark" by Vladimir Nabokov (who, of course, also authored "Lolita"). It's also known as "Tarot" since Lyon's character is always playing with tarot cards (which makes a lot more sense than the title "Autopsy" which was shared by at least two other movies that same year). This isn't great, but it's certainly worth seeing.


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