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Strange Shadows in an Empty Room (1976)

Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta (original title)
An Ottawa police captain searches for the person who poisoned his sister, who was attending the university in Montreal. So desperate is he for revenge that he begin to use his own brutal ... See full summary »


Alberto De Martino (as Martin Herbert)


Vincenzo Mannino (screenplay) (as Vincent Mann), Gianfranco Clerici (screenplay) (as Frank Clark)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Capt. Tony Saitta
John Saxon ... Sgt. Ned Matthews
Martin Landau ... Dr. George Tracer
Tisa Farrow ... Julie Foster
Carole Laure ... Louise Saitta
Jean LeClerc ... Robert Tracer (as Jean Leclerc)
Gayle Hunnicutt ... Margie Cohn
Jean Marchand ... Terence
Anthony Forrest ... Robert Tracer (as Antony Forest)
Andrée St-Laurent ... Rose Tracer (as Andree St. Laurent)
Peter MacNeill ... (as Peter Mac Neil)
Julie Wildman Julie Wildman
James Tapp James Tapp
Jérôme Tiberghien Jérôme Tiberghien ... (as Jerome Thibergien)
Terence G. Ross Terence G. Ross ... (as Terence Ross)


An Ottawa police captain searches for the person who poisoned his sister, who was attending the university in Montreal. So desperate is he for revenge that he begin to use his own brutal methods to find the killer. Soon he discovers that not everything is what he thought it was. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Enter at your own risk ... for there is no such thing as a truly empty room See more »


R | See all certifications »



Italy | Canada | Panama


French | English

Release Date:

9 March 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Strange Shadows in an Empty Room See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tiffany Bolling and Keir Dullea were offered major roles. See more »


The driver of a car passing by can be seen watching filming as cop walks into sex shop. See more »


Spoofed in Car Field Stories (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome, awesome, awesome!
7 June 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"Blazing Magnum" often gets too easily categorized as a spaghetti imitation of "Dirty Harry", its first sequel "Magnum Force" and "The French Connection" (groundbreaking hardcore American action movies of the early 70's), but this slick and unforgettable Italian exploitation product has SO much more to offer. Director Alberto De Martino, clever marketer that he was back then, does indeed cash in on the popular tough cop-thriller trend, but simultaneously his film also contains authentic Giallo story lines, which was another contemporary favored exploitation sub genre at the time. The versatility of the script is illustrated through particularly two of the numerous titles for the film. "A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta" is an archetypal "Poliziottesco" title and "Strange Shadows in an Empty Room" is a prototypic Giallo title. Both of them titles are very irrelevant, by the way, as there's nothing even remotely special about Tony Saitta's Magnum and the shadows in an empty room only refer to a minuscule sequence near the end of the film, but admittedly they sound terrific. Unorthodox Canadian copper Tony Saitti is too busy blasting bank robbers to pieces one day, and so he misses a phone call from his sister who sounded clearly upset. Later that same night, the girl – who's at least 30 years younger than Saitti for some reason – dies from poisoning during a party at her university. Tony Saitti now takes his time to devotedly investigate the case, along with his reliable colleague Sgt. Matthews. He discovers that his sister was having an affair with the prominent Dr. Tracer and holds him responsible for the murder, but the case soon proves to be more convoluted and including jewelry theft and a community of local transvestites. The story of "Blazing Magnum" could be told in barely half an hour or so, but the exciting and adrenalin-paced action interludes make the film so indescribably entertaining! Of course nobody wants to cooperate with Tony Saitti's investigation, thus all his attempts to question suspects or witnesses result in extended bare-knuckle fights and incredibly flamboyant chase sequences; either by car or on foot. It's almost hilarious to witness Tony apprehend a suspect after a 10 minute chase and having beat half of the poor guy's teeth out, only for it to end with him asking: "Have you ever seen the necklace in this photograph before?" Especially the car chase sequence deserves to be legendary, in my humble opinion. It truly feels as if Alberto De Martino and his camera crew opened a big picture book with descriptions of all possible car stunts imaginable and then simply re-enacted them one by one! Other irresistible exploitative highlights include Tony's bitter fight with a clique of transvestites and a tough confrontation in the little boy's room. There's a lovely amount of sleaze and several scenes in the film are delightfully tasteless, like for example the killer threatening to slice up a newborn baby at the hospital. The filming locations are adequate, the soundtrack is quite exhilarating and De Martino could also depend on a stellar cast. Stuart Whitman is a decent enough Clint Eastwood clone, but I particularly fancied seeing John Saxon and Martin Landau starring together in this Italian-Canadian co-production. Tisa Farrow plays a poor defenseless blind girl, just like her more famous sister Mia did in "See No Evil" a couple years earlier. Talk about exploitation and clever marketing!

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