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Inferno (1980)

R | | Horror | 2 April 1980 (USA)
An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writer:

Dario Argento (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leigh McCloskey ... Mark Elliot
Irene Miracle ... Rose Elliot
Eleonora Giorgi ... Sara
Daria Nicolodi ... Elise De Longvalle Adler
Sacha Pitoëff ... Kazanian (as Sacha Pitoeff)
Alida Valli ... Carol, the caretaker
Veronica Lazar ... The Nurse / Mater Tenebrarum
Gabriele Lavia ... Carlo
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Professor Arnold / Dr. Varelli (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Leopoldo Mastelloni Leopoldo Mastelloni ... John, the Butler
Ania Pieroni ... Music Student
James Fleetwood James Fleetwood ... Cook
Rosario Rigutini Rosario Rigutini ... Man
Ryan Hilliard ... Shadow
Paolo Paoloni ... Music Teacher
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Storyline

Riddled with secret but horrid suspicion, the young American poet, Rose Elliot, writes to her brother and musicology student in Rome, Mark, about the startling findings in the dark and dank basement of her New York Art Deco apartment building. Pivoting around the cryptic knowledge hidden in the leather-bound book entitled "The Three Mothers", Rose is convinced that her aristocratic but damned abode is, in fact, an ancient coven for Mater Tenebrarum, the malevolent Mother of Darkness. Little by little, as the siblings delve deeper and deeper into the occult, a mysterious disappearance and an endless string of gruesome killings will bring Mark closer and closer to a surreal nightmare. Where do the long and shadowy corridors of Rose's building lead? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Master of horror Dario Argento brings you terror that;s hotter than hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

2 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inferno See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Produzioni Intersound See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (Dolby Stereo) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)| 3 Channel Stereo (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Irene Miracle, almost all her scenes were directed by Mario Bava. Dario Argento was rarely on set through most of the shoot. See more »

Goofs

When the power begins going on and off in Sara's apartment, the music continues to start and stop as if a CD was playing. Since she is playing a record on a turntable, there would be slowing down and speeding up as the power goes in and out. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: The Three Mothers rule the world with sorrow, tears and darkness. Mater Suspiriorum, the Mother of Sighs, and the oldest of the three, lives in Freiburg. Mater Lachrymarum, the Mother of Tears, and the most beautiful of the sisters, holds rule in Rome. Mater Tenebrarum, the Mother of Darkness, who is the youngest and cruelest of the three, controls New York.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For its UK cinema release cuts were made to shots of a cat eating a live mouse. The Fox video was cut by 20 secs with the same cinema cut plus an additional edit to a closeup of a cat's head being hit against a chair. The cuts were fully waived for the 2010 Arrow DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Head for Horror: Lamberto Bava on 'Macabre' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Mater Tenebrarum
Composed by Keith Emerson'
Keyboards by Keith Emerson'
Vocals performed by Linda Lee (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The most beautiful of horror movies
12 February 2001 | by pearceduncanSee all my reviews

Inferno is Dario Argento's masterpiece. For once, he abandoned the idea of a coherent storyline altogether and made a movie that is simply a series of beautifully made setpieces. Many people have criticized Inferno's plot; such people are completely missing the point. Inferno is no more concerned with plot than Luis Bunuel was with movies such as The Phantom of Liberty; where Bunuel was concentrating on images and ideas, Argento is concentrating on images and emotion, specifically fear.

Each scene features a character or characters running afoul of the Three Mothers, entities introduced obliquely in Argento's previous movie, Suspiria, and developed considerably here. The third movie in the Three Mothers trilogy remains unmade. Each scene is carefully coded by judicious use of colour and sound. All the best setpieces in the movie feature no dialogue whatsoever (most notably the scenes in the underwater chamber and the lecture theatre). Much of the most significant dialogue is whispered offscreen by unseen persons.

Inferno is that rarest of breeds: pure cinema. Not only could it not have succeeded in any other medium, it cannot be adequately described in words. Anyone who is seriously concerned with artistic cinema must see this movie, as should most horror fans. Anyone who has trouble getting their head around movies that push beyond the conventional three-act storyline will almost certainly hate it.


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