Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cat O' Nine Tails (1970)

In this mystery directed by Dario Argento, two journalists (one retired, having been blinded as a result of an accident many years ago) investigate several murders that have been committed after a research institute is broken into.

This is Catherine Spaak's best-known film in America, but at first glance you can barely tell it's her, with the unusually prominent eyeliner and big, unnaturally curly hair. She plays the daughter of the research institute's owner, a sultry "femme fatale." Two of Spaak's scenes are among the film's most memorable: an entertaining set-piece where Spaak hurriedly drives through the streets of Rome in an attempt to lose trailing police, and a tension-filled moment involving two glasses of poisoned milk.

The most widely-seen version of this film is an English dub, which has another actress speaking Spaak's lines (unusual, as Spaak was generally involved with the English dubbing of her films), but the version I saw was in Italian with English subtitles.

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