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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 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:

Before Tenebrae, Beyond Suspiria there is... INFERNO! 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

Legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava assisted with the making of the special effects on this film. Bava passed away shortly before its release. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Kazanian is investigating a noise in his shop, he is shown reaching towards the table closest to him. As he's reaching down, his right crutch falls from under his arm. However, in the next mid-shot of him backing towards the bookshelf behind him, the right crutch is just starting to fall from under his arm. See more »

Quotes

Sara: Have you ever heard of the Three Sisters?
Carlo: You mean those black singers?
Sara: No, I'm talking about mythology.
Carlo: Hold on, if you're talking about spooks and stuff, I don't believe in any of that.
Sara: How can you be so sure?
Carlo: I don't believe in such things, that's all, and without any philosophical discussion.
Sara: Then what do you believe in?
Carlo: In whatever I can see and touch.
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 28° minuto (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Va' pensiero...
(from opera "Nabucco")
Music by Giuseppe Verdi'
Performed by Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai (as Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus of Rome Radio Televisione Italiana)
Chorus master by Gaetano Riccitelli
Conducted by Fernando Previtali
Courtesy of Fonit Cetra
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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