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
20 minutes in, Suzy accidentally knocks Sara's bag onto the floor in the changing room, when she sits on the bench holding her dance shoes. Then, in a close-up, both women's hands can be seen picking up the bag's scattered contents. Then, in a two-shot, Suzy is still holding her dance shoes. See more »
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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The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC with edits made to the opening heart stabbing murder, Sara's throat being slashed, and a dog savaging the blind man's throat, and the 1990 Entertainment In Video release featured the same print. The 1998 Nouveaux video was uncut but suffered from a poor print transfer, and all later releases were widescreen and intact. See more »
Having heard such mixed things about "Suspiria," I was actually somewhat pleasantly surprised. My main interest in seeing the movie was because of Joan Bennett and Alida Valli.
The sets are quite marvelous and the opening sequence appropriately gripping. I can't say that I was scared by the film. The maggot sequence was actually pretty funny. One minute they're dropping all over the place and the next there's poor Joan Bennett (I read somewhere that she did the film so she could go abroad) in her best finishing school posture and accent explaining away the problem. Don't get me wrong, but there are some genuinely creepy bits. The scene with Jessica Harper walking down the hall and seeing the old woman and the little boy and then her dance class with the sadistic Alida Valli character was unnerving.
The script needed some work. It is, as others have said, a very dreamlike/nightmarish film, but I need some sort of narrative cohesion in my movies. I also have to agree with the reviewer here who questioned the whole sleep apnea thing.
The acting is . . . uneven. Jessica Harper does fairly well as the young woman who's come to the dancing school and discovers there's much more going on. I'm not sure what to say about Bennett and Valli. I've seen it suggested that their performances were supposed to be like that--why, I don't know--but it would be to their credit if that were the case, because both of them gave much better performances in their careers. Still, glad I saw it and I will probably watch it again.
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