Cast and Crew: Enrico Morricone (Score); Salvatore Argento (Producer); Reggie Nalder
What It’s About: American writer Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) witnesses an attempted murder by the serial killer stalking Rome. When the inspector investigating the case (Enrico Maria Salerno) refuses to allow Sam to leave the country until the murder is solved, Sam begins to investigate on his own….and the murderer begins stalking him in turn. What did Sam really see, and can he figure out the mystery before it’s too late?
Why Watch it Today?: Director Dario Argento, the cult favorite Italian horror director who began his career with today’s film, was born on this date in 1940. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is Argento at his most conventional-which may be a plus for those who agree with his detractors and think his later films spend too much time on bizarre set pieces and not enough on making sense. Here he crafts a more violent variation on the kind of murder mystery that Hitchcock or Agatha Christie might have constructed with excellent results.
Other Choices: We’ve previously featured Argento’s Deep Red, Suspiria, and Phenomena.
I’m still shocked that this got a “GP” rating and not an “R” more than anything. I haven’t seen this in a few years, but I had the soundtrack LP for ages and it used to annoy the hell out of me for some reason. Well, it only cost me something like two bucks new and I was buying soundtracks for loads of films back then, so…
It’s an odd fit with the film, I think.
Yeah, I was going to mention that, but I didn’t want to get beat down by some hardcore Morricone supporters, heh. It used to make me laugh for a while hearing that music, then it was like “what the hell was this actually composed for?” before I lifted the needle off the record and put something better on…