7.5/10
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538 user 276 critic

Suspiria (1977)

R | | Horror | 12 August 1977 (USA)
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.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Suzy Bannion
... Sara
... Daniel
... Mark (as Miguel Bosè)
... Olga
Susanna Javicoli ... Sonia
Eva Axén ... Pat Hingle
... Prof. Milius
... Dr. Frank Mandel
... Miss Tanner
... Madame Blanc
Margherita Horowitz ... Teacher
Jacopo Mariani ... Albert
Fulvio Mingozzi ... Taxi Driver
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:

The only thing more terrifying than the last five minutes of this film are the first 90! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

12 August 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dario Argento's Suspiria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints)| (Circum-Sound) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (prints)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, Jessica Harper said that many of the actors spoke different languages during shooting, mostly Italian and German, and it would make communicating difficult at times. However, since the film would be dubbed into English for American release, it was deemed not to be an issue during filming. See more »

Goofs

[German version only] On being dismissed by Madame Blanc, Mrs. Tanner utters "of course" but her lips don't move. The words aren't included in the international version, too. 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...
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Crazy Credits

You have been watching "SUSPIRIA" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Burn the Bitch (2018) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Artistic Nightmare
30 June 2004 | by See 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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