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A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.


Dario Argento


Dario Argento (story), Franco Ferrini (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristina Marsillach ... Betty
Ian Charleson ... Marco
Urbano Barberini ... Inspector Alan Santini
Daria Nicolodi ... Mira
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni ... Giulia
Antonella Vitale ... Marion
William McNamara ... Stefano
Barbara Cupisti ... Signora Albertini
Antonino Iuorio Antonino Iuorio ... Baddini (as Antonio Juorio)
Carola Stagnaro Carola Stagnaro ... Alma's mother
Francesca Cassola Francesca Cassola ... Alma
Maurizio Garrone Maurizio Garrone ... Maurizio, the raven trainer
Cristina Giachino Cristina Giachino ... Maria, the assistant director
György Gyõriványi György Gyõriványi ... Miro
Bjorn Hammer Bjorn Hammer ... Cop #1


A young opera singer (Betty) gets her big chance when the previous star of a production of Verdi's Macbeth is run over by a car. Convinced the opera is bad luck she accepts, and becomes the target (in Argento's unmistakable style) of a psychopath - a man she has been dreaming of since childhood. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A star is born tonight... will she live to see tomorrow? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong terror and violence, and for a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 December 1987 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Opera See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The idea of the pins-under-the-eyes torture device came from a joke of Argento's. Argento said it would annoy him when people would look away during the scary scenes in his films. He would jokingly suggest taping pins under people's eyes so they couldn't look away from the film. It would late materialize on the screen for this film. See more »


When in the wardrobe studio to repair the damaged dress, the wind is blowing on sheets of fabrics laying on the floor. While the camera is traveling forward, it pans to the right, and the camera crew is visible in a mirror's reflection. See more »


Marco: I think it's unwise to use movies as a guide for reality. Don't you, Inspector?
Inspector Alan Santini: Depends what you mean by reality.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The recent Anchor Bay release is the unrated version, containing all the gore and violence. See more »


Featured in Dario Argento: Master of Horror (1991) See more »


Opera Theme
by Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor
By Arrangement with Ripple Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

I just want to say, I f**king love this film
11 September 2014 | by willson_xSee all my reviews

Usually I float over titles I see on this website and let it be as karma to the film, or whatever, but this one seems to have a bad rep that I intend on redeeming. This film is worth me putting my foot in the door and saying something, I can't physically change your mind, but I can try and push the bad reviewers out of sight (by finding out where they live, kidnapping them with 3 rolls of duct tape per body, some heavy duty garden rope, and dropping them off the shortest peak of Mt Everest.) Some reviews say it's just a film that panders to gore hounds, where others say the story makes not a blip of sense. I recently watched another Italian horror director's (Lucio Fulci)film "House By The Cemetery", and I realised something about the whole genre of Italian Horror, whether it be very grounded Giallo types, or the supernaturally dream like horrors that feel like a hallucination. They're films that go for a "definite feeling", how they get there at the end, however unorthodox or off the wall they are, they achieve dread through little quirks and symbols, artistic motifs, camera shots, music that is genuinely saddening and horrifying. But whatever criticisms you might have about the acting, the strange, unrealistic script, the gore... you get "there". It creeps up your skin. It goes for a densely packed experience, filled with all kinds of dreams, fashion, themes and nightmares. On a documentary about Italian Horror films, it said something very important about the cultural significance of them and it is something that Fulci said: "Violence is an Italian art". There's something about their overbearing, bloody, Roman past, and their highly emotional society, and how even today it is so constricted by religion and class orders, and how this is represented in their horror output as a kind of rebellion. Sure there is worthy Italian comedy, but it's the horror that is done artistically and poignantly, and always in anything gruesome, there is a sense of humour anyway. It seems what they want us to believe is that it comes naturally to them and we should understand that their understanding serves a purpose in the universe.

With "Opera", the setting is that familiar scene of paparazzi, false love, real pain, celebrities, the fans, that cold world where talent, and love for what you do, takes you. Least of all, it's about Guiseppe Verdi's opera- "Macbeth". Actors at odds with their fans, A dark celebration of youth, life imitating art, it could be interpreted many ways, but ultimately I think what's clearest about it is its disdain for celebrity worshiping culture. It's fantastically cynical and has a seething hatred running through it. It's shot like a dream, which is not uncommon for Argento films, but a dream which turns sour for the unsuspecting protagonist who is unsure about the power of her singing talent, but coerced into taking the role of Lady Macbeth. The art direction in this is grey and futuristic looking, everything is the colour of granite, splashed with blue. Every element of the movie is densely layered, the cinematography, the music, the pacing is so tightly packed it's like watching someone get stuck in a black hole where no man has gone before. And that's my last point about this movie and why you should see it... it's a completely original film, an artistic accomplishment in its own right. It's a rebellious statement, it's brutal, it's seductive, it's confidently done, I just hope you read this review before the others and at least give it a chance. Saying it's rebellious has made me realise something: modern horror films are done for the enjoyment of watching them, it's like the makers enjoy it and that carries on, whereas the old films were made by men and women who were fighting in their own small ways, an oppressive society, who enjoyed fear above all else because the horror makes you think, they used their dream like horror as an intellectual and educational tool. This film is still a part of that "Old School". I don't know what to say, maybe my love for this movie is as irrational as the whole Italian horror canon, as the dream-like way in which they shot the films, but as far as going on pure feeling goes, my gut tells me to follow this one, and you should too. Get a creep under your skin, get a view of the world you've not seen, watch this!!

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