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Suspiria (1977)

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (screenplay), Daria Nicolodi (screenplay)
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Popularity
199 ( 79)

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Harper ... Suzy Bannion
Stefania Casini ... Sara
Flavio Bucci ... Daniel
Miguel Bosé ... Mark (as Miguel Bosè)
Barbara Magnolfi ... Olga
Susanna Javicoli Susanna Javicoli ... Sonia
Eva Axén Eva Axén ... Pat Hingle
Rudolf Schündler ... Prof. Milius
Udo Kier ... Dr. Frank Mandel
Alida Valli ... Miss Tanner
Joan Bennett ... Madame Blanc
Margherita Horowitz Margherita Horowitz ... Teacher
Jacopo Mariani Jacopo Mariani ... Albert
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Taxi Driver
Franca Scagnetti Franca Scagnetti ... Cook
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Storyline

Suzy Bannion travels to Germany to perfect her ballet skills. She arrives at the Tanz dance academy in the pouring rain and is refused admission after another woman is seen fleeing the school. She returns the next morning and this time is let in. She learns that the young woman she saw fleeing the previous evening, Pat Hingle, has been found dead. Strange things soon begin to occur. Suzy becomes ill and is put on a special diet; the school becomes infested with maggots; odd sounds abound; and Daniel, the pianist, is killed by his own dog. A bit of research indicates that the ballet school was once a witches' coven - and as Suzy learns, still is. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Psycho" meets "The Exorcist" with no holds barred See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | Russian | English | German | Latin

Release Date:

12 August 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dario Argento's Suspiria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Seda Spettacoli See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Quadrophonic (Circum-Sound) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (prints)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Dario Argento composed the creepy music with the band Goblin and played it at full blast on set to unnerve the actors and elicit a truly scared performance. See more »

Goofs

Cord visible on bat as it flies from the closet See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Suzy Banyon decided to perfect her ballet studies in the most famous school of dance in Europe. She chose the celebrated academy of Freiburg. One day, at nine in the morning, she left Kennedy airport, New York, and arrived in Germany at 10:40 p.m. local time...
See more »

Crazy Credits

You have been watching "SUSPIRIA" See more »

Alternate Versions

One of the scenes in the beginning of the film had its soundtrack remixed in the U.S. Anchor Bay Special Edition of the film. There are now loud bursts of thunder overlapping Pat shouting about the secret room and the iris flower to Sara, making the former's lines almost completely inaudible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Satan's School for Girls (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Markos
Adapted from "Music in Similar Motion" by Philip Glass
Arranged by Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli, Agostino Marangolo and Massimo Morante
Performed by Goblin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Artistic Nightmare
30 June 2004 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

A German ballet school for girls is the setting for mysterious deaths, in this 1977 horror story, written and directed by Dario Argento. "Suspiria" is a visually stunning film.

The images contain objects we recognize, like people, buildings, and interior decor. But the objects seem vaguely menacing, and less real than surreal, as though they symbolize ideas, repressed desires, or subconscious fears. The vivid, rich colors, strange camera angles, deep shadows, and bright light piercing through darkness, all contribute to the impression that the viewer is trapped in someone else's nightmare.

One haunting segment of the film takes place in a huge, and strangely empty, public square, at night. A blind man and his German shepherd dog stand in the middle of the square, surrounded by imposing buildings of neo-classical architectural style. Some professional reviewers of this film have suggested that the public square is a veiled reference to Hitler and Nazism. Indeed, one could argue that the film's subtext is an indictment of fascism.

"Suspiria" is not for everyone. It is unsettling, and at times grisly. The plot is weak, and plot elements are not really explained. The acting is largely irrelevant. And while the background music is suitably gothic, it is also frantic and monotonous.

The best approach to this "art-house" film is to ignore the superficial plot, and focus instead on the fabulous cinematography, and the gothic images as conceptual metaphors.


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