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Opera (1987)

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 »
5 nominations. See more awards »




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


An Aria of Terror from the Maestro of Horror - Dario Argento See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Jasmine Maimone auditioned for the role of Betty, but turned it down. See more »


In the killer's POV shot entering the costume workshop, the camera and camera dolly are seen in a mirror on the right. See more »


Betty: I am nothing like my mother. Nothing like her!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Available in both R and Unrated versions. See more »


References Phantom of the Opera (1943) See more »


No Escape
by The Group Norden Light
By Arrangement with Sonet
See more »

User Reviews

Creepy Dario Argento movie about a diva terrorized by a psycho-killer , including grisly gore murders
3 December 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Good Gialli with imaginatively staged murders by the master of horror . The setting is a production of Macbeth at La Scala Opera House .A bizarre staging of Verdi's Macbeth is plagued by a deranged and depraved fan bent on killing the people , but the show must go on . When the former star of a production is run over by a car , a young singer called Betty (Cristina Marsillach) is hired by the entrepreneur and she gets her big chance . Then , the young opera singer becomes the target of a psycho . Betty chooses not to go to the police and instead confides in Marco (Ian Charleson) , the director of Macbeth, about the incidents . Shortly after , the weird psycopath committing ominous killings in Argento's unmistakable style . Later on , Inspector Alan Santini (Urbano Barberini) arrives at the opera house to investigate the strange happenings .A star is born tonight... will she live to see tomorrow? The last note is a real killer.

Eerie and ghastly Dario Argento full of obsession , scary murders , bloodcurling madness and shocking death scenes . It is a nice Giallo plenty of grisly killings , suspense and bizarre intrigue . Dario Argento's great success is compelling directed with startling visual content . This frightening movie is plenty of thrills, chills, body-count and strange color with phenomenal results . This is a classic slasher where the intrigue,tension, suspense appear threatening and lurking in every room, corridors , Opera house , and luxurious interior and exterior. Italian horror-meister Argento's always fluid camera achieves spectacular frames , but the ludricous , lurid screenplay make this one for Argento buffs and connoisseuurs only . As always , though , the most terrifying things are the astonishing murders , being very well staged . Argento goes straight for the eyes and throat in this stylishly sick terror movie . All the trademarks are here : minimal summary , stunning set pieces , baroque camera movements , striking cinematography and mysoginist violence . The movie belongs to Italian Giallo genre that was invented by Mario Bava (Black Sabbath) along with Riccardo Freda (Secret of Dr. Hitchcock) , they are the fundamental creators . These Giallo movies are characterized by overblown use of color with shining red blood, usual zooms, and utilization of images-shock . Later appears the maestro Dario Argento with his typically stylish Giallos, he is another essential creator of classic Latin terror films . Argento's acceptable direction is well crafted, and as always more inclined toward violence and lots of killings . This genuinely mysterious story is well made and is one of the best ¨Giallo¨ with oneiric, effective aesthetic . And the operatic scenes employ the voice of Maria Callas . Being available in an edited R rated version and the film had an alternate ending at some points . Breathtaking scenes starred by crows , about 140 crows were used, but only 60 sum were ever retrieved ; it would take hours for everyone to re-capture the crows after they were released in the opera house for filming . The others apparently escaped from the opera house during filming . And surprising ending , in fact , the final of the movie is inspired by the ending of Thomas Harris's book "Red Dragon". So-so acting by Cristina Marsillach as a young opperata of Verdi's Macbeth is stalked by an associated with her to claim her for himself . He is accompanied by a fine support cast such as Ian Charleson in his last theatrical film , as he died of AIDS , Urbano Barberini , Barbara Cupisti , William McNamara , Antonella Vitale and Daria Nicolidi , director's wife , though she had ended her long-time relationship with Dario Argento two years earlier. And Vanessa Redgrave was attached to appear as Mara Czekova, but dropped out shortly before production began , then this character was then reduced to a minor one. And Dario Argento as Narrator and filmmaker Michele Soavi as Inspector Daniele Soave .

It displays a luxurious and evocative photography by Ronnie Taylor . As well as an eerie and chilling musical score from Brian Eno , Roger Eno , Claudio Simonetti and Bill Wyman . The picture was originally directed by the Visconti of violence : Dario Argento ,one of those film-makers who set off simple for frightening us to death . His terror pieces are competently staged with eye-opening flair-play and surprising images .His period of biggest hits were the 70s when he directed the animals trilogy: ¨Four flies over gray velvet¨, ¨The cat of nine tails¨, ¨Bird with the crystal plumage¨, after he directed other great successes movies as ¨Suspiria¨, ¨Inferno¨, ¨Tenebre¨ and of course ¨Deep red¨. Rating : 6/10 decent terror movie . See it , if you must , in the big screen because its swirling camerawork and imaginative nastiness will be partially loss in video or TV. This bloody fun plenty of graphic gore and weirdness may not be for all tastes but to be liked for Argento aficionados especially.º

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Italian | English | German

Release Date:

19 December 1987 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Opera See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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