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3:15 | Trailer

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An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (screenplay), Dario Argento (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Franciosa ... Peter Neal
Christian Borromeo ... Gianni
Mirella D'Angelo ... Tilde
Veronica Lario ... Jane McKerrow
Ania Pieroni ... Elsa Manni
Eva Robins ... Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro Carola Stagnaro ... Detective Altieri
John Steiner ... Christiano Berti
Lara Wendel ... Maria Alboretto
John Saxon ... Bullmer
Daria Nicolodi ... Anne
Giuliano Gemma ... Detective Germani
Isabella Amadeo Isabella Amadeo ... Bullmer's secretary
Mirella Banti Mirella Banti ... Marion
Ennio Girolami ... Department Store Manager (as Enio Girolami)
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Storyline

With Argento's trademark visual style, linked with one of his more coherent plots, Tenebrae follows a writer who arrives to Rome only to find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration (and, occasionally, the means) of committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are ever baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case than is comfortable. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...Terror Beyond Belief See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tenebre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The word 'Tenebre' is a Latin/Italian term meaning darkness or shadows. See more »

Goofs

Just before Elsa is killed, the attacker shoves several individual wads of paper into her mouth. But as she dies, she spits it out and the pages are now wadded together in one giant ball. See more »

Quotes

[First lines]
Narrator: "The impulse had become irresistible. There was only one answer to the fury that tortured him. And so he committed his first act of murder. He had broken the most deep-rooted taboo, and found not guilt, not anxiety or fear, but freedom. Any humiliation which stood in his way could be swept aside by the simple act of annihilation: Murder."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Anne's screams continue even as the ending credits roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two versions of Tenebre. One with Italian close-up shots of the book in the pre-credit sequence and one with English close-up shots. The French Blu-ray as well as the Italian releases are based on the Italian version, whereas most non-Italian releases on DVD are based on the English language version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Beyond the Stars (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Tonight
Performed by Kim Wilde
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of Argento's best.
28 January 2002 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

I first saw Tenebr(a)e under the moniker "Unsane" (which is supposedly missing ten minutes of gore and some extensive camera-work). I really enjoyed the film, so I bought the rerelease print from Anchor Bay, and I must say, the restored, uncut, letterboxed print looks and sounds wonderful.

There's no need to go into the plot other than to say Anthony Franciosa stars as American horror novelist Peter Neal and, while he's in Rome on a book tour, murders are being committed by one of his crazed fans. I read somewhere that Argento is king of stringing together a plot and cheating audiences just so they can't guess the identity of the killer, and with this as evidence, I agree 100%. It's nearly impossible to figure out this plot before it's fully explained.

Luciano Tovoli's camera-work/cinematography is brilliant, especially the luma crane shot (which goes up one side of a building, over the roof and down the other side in one unbroken taken). There's also an extremely well-photographed and directed sequence featuring a girl being pursued by a rabid Doberman. Now they would do those two scenes with computers, and I think that obliterates the charm of the hands-on film-making process.

In short, this film puts Hollywood thrillers like "Copycat" "The Bone Collector," and "Se7en" to shame, and it's apparent all three films stole ideas from this one (and from other films in Argento's oeuvre).


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