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This is an interesting film. It is an Italian giallo to some extent as the title suggests, but it sits a little uneasily in that genre because it is also very much an A-list film with heavyweight actors like Marcello Mastroanni. The female lead Ornella Muti had been in an earlier giallo ("Oasis of Fear") and several other B-movie genre films, but she too was really on the verge of international stardom by 1978. Director Sergio Corbucci meanwhile was certainly famous for genre films, but not for gialli--his specialty was spaghetti westerns, where he was undoubtedly the second most esteemed director next to Sergio Leone.
This also has an element of (completely intentional)comedy that puts it somewhat add odds with most giallo thrillers, and it really dials back both the graphic violence and the sex and nudity. It probably has as much in common with the Hollywood comedy-thriller "Foul Play" that came out the same year as it does with most other Italian gialli. Mastroanni plays a mandolin player who, while trying to cover his senile father's gambling debts, is sent to perform a serenade at a high rise building and witnesses a shootout and a man being thrown from a window to his death (the first of several falls from windows that the beleaguered hero witnesses). He gets mixed up with a famous conductor and his gorgeous wife (Zeudi Araya) as well as with the conductor's beautiful daughter-in-law (Muti). The whole thing involves a confusingly intricate blackmail plot and a horrible secret dating back to World War II. There's a really good twist at the end.
Mastroanni was every bit as talented as any Hollywood actor and quite a bit more daring when it came to taking offbeat roles (i.e. he was in Roman Polanski's insane black comedy "What?" a few years before this and the next year he appeared with a "barely legal" Nastassia Kinski in the incest-themed sex romp "Stay the Way You Are"). Ornella Muti and Zeudi Araya both bring breathtaking beauty and a good deal of glamor to their roles. Corbucci does a good job directing, showing a flair for both comedy and thrills. And the musical score is also quite superb. It's a little hard (and perhaps a bit unfair) to try to fit this film in with the rest of the giallo genre, but it certainly stands on its own as an interesting, well-made movie.
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