“It seems very clear to me that there is a dangerous maniac at large in this city.”
After an American writer (Tony Musante) in Italy witnesses the attempted murder of a beautiful redhead (Eva Renzi) behind the glass walls of an art gallery, he and his girlfriend (Suzy Kendall) put their own lives at risk while attempting to help a police inspector (Enrico Maria Salerno) figure out who the mysterious serial killer might be.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Amateur Sleuths
- Horror Films
- Serial Killers
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “tricky and bloody horror-mystery” — very loosely based on the same novel that was turned into Screaming Mimi (1958) — is “stylishly directed by Dario Argento, Italy’s specialist in this kind of material.” (Other Peary-listed titles by Argento include Deep Red , Suspiria , and Inferno .) Peary notes that The Bird With the Crystal Plumage “has some scary moments”, but argues that “perhaps the best scene is half comical, with Musante visiting an eccentric artist whose painting is the key to the mystery”.
Peary points out that the film’s “dubbing hurts” (yes, it does), and that it “should be seen in [a] theater for full effect” — though thanks to Blu-Ray technology, that’s no longer necessary. The storyline offers plenty of atmospherically filmed sequences and twists and turns, with several possible candidates for the murderer. It’s worth a look by giallo fans, though not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Vibrant cinematography and sets
- Several tensely filmed sequences
No, though Sargento fans will of course want to check it out.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)