84 user 105 critic

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

La sindrome di Stendhal (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 26 January 1996 (Italy)
0:40 | Trailer
A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.


Dario Argento


Graziella Magherini (novel), Dario Argento (story) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Asia Argento ... Det. Anna Manni
Thomas Kretschmann ... Alfredo Grossi
Marco Leonardi ... Marco Longhi
Luigi Diberti ... Insp. Manetti
Paolo Bonacelli ... Dr. Cavanna
Julien Lambroschini Julien Lambroschini ... Marie
John Quentin John Quentin ... Anna's father
Franco Diogene ... Victim's husband
Lucia Stara Lucia Stara ... Shop assistant
Sonia Topazio Sonia Topazio ... Victim in Florence
Lorenzo Crespi ... Giulio
Vera Gemma Vera Gemma ... Policewoman
John Pedeferri John Pedeferri ... Hydraulic engineer
Veronica Lazar ... Marie's mother
Mario Diano Mario Diano ... Coroner


Anna Manni is a policewoman trying to capture a vicious serial rapist and killer. The problem is that she suffers from "Stendhal's syndrome", a psychosomatic disease that gives her dizziness and hallucinations when she is exposed to the sight of paintings and artistic masterpieces. When the maniac lures her into a trap inside Florence's famous Uffizi museum, her troubles are just beginning... Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dario Argento's Masterpiece of Terror See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This was reportedly the first feature film made in Italy to use CGI. See more »


Though featuring prominently during the film's opening sequence set at the Uffizi in Florecne, Peter Bruegel's 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' is actually housed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. See more »


Insp. Manetti: You're young. I can trust you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version released on DVD in the UK in May 1999 contains all the material which had been pre-cut from the UK video version. Since the uncut version has never been submitted to the British Board of Film Classification, this version was withdrawn and re-released in a cut form. The new cut release has a colour graphic on the disc itself, whereas the uncut version had a black and white label. The 2010 Arrow reissue featured the full uncut version. See more »


Featured in Sharp as a Razor (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Argento's personal...
30 September 2013 | by alucardvenomSee all my reviews

I haven't seen "Stendhal Syndrome" in more then ten years, so I was quite thrilled when I found it on DVD (the sweet 2 disc edition) and decided to give it a shot and see if I could still be amazed by Argento.

and how does this movie hold?

Rather well I must say. While it's certainly not good as some of the Argento's earlier work, it's still one of the highlights of Argento's career. Comparing it with his early masterpieces is hard, since "Stendhal Syndrome" is much more different. It's based on personal experience Argento had as a child, much like "Phenomena" was based on Argento's current obsession of that time.

Narrative is very complex and it might be bit hard to fallow if you aren't fully concentrated or you are not familiar with Argento's narrative style - while his stories are usually linear in terms of story progression, but he often uses fragmented narrative which give some scenes dream-like narrative (this worked rather well in his supernatural movies, like Suspiria).

Story itself is bit different from his early giallo movies, because in this one, violence doesn't happen often (but when they do, they are rather nasty) and it's more character driven. It's true psychological thriller (modern filmmakers who sell their torture porn as "psychological" please learn from Mr. Argento and this movie) where we fallow the psyche of detective Anna Manni (played by Asia Argento, director's daughter) as she tries to fight serial killer and her personal demons that grow stronger after each encounter with him. (I won't go into much details because of the spoilers).

Dario Argento's visual style is still impressive, and his camera work fits perfectly with narrative and storytelling. There are some beautiful shots and interesting camera work. There's also use of contrast much like in Suspiria, but in SS, Argento had some very good moments that impressed me. In some scenes, where we fallow Anna in her apartment, contrast is strong and colors can be bright, but as the movie progresses, colors are becoming much darker and "realistic". There's a scene where Anna confronts the killer in underground (sewers) and movie drastically changes from white and red (Anna's apartment) into black, gray and brown (not only because of the set, but because Argento decided to saturate those colors even more).

Asia Argento is beautiful as usual and she gives a strong performance here.

Music is haunting and creepy, and perfectly fits with the movie.

Watch this in original Italian audio, English dub wasn't that good.

6.5/10 but I gave it 7, because Dario Argento is awesome guy in person. Meet him few years back and he was funny, charming and very down-to- earth.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

26 January 1996 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Stendhal Syndrome See more »


Box Office


$3,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Medusa Film, Cine 2000 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed