Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Girl Who Knew Too Much|
Actors: Letícia Román, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos
Director: Mario Bava
Genres: Art House & International, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Nora Davis (Leticia Roman) jets away to Rome to vacation with Edith, an old friend of her family. Unfortunately, her trip is anything but relaxing On the first night, Edith dies--and as Nora runs into the night for help, ... more »
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Bava At His Best!
Terry Greenwood | San Jose, Ca. USA | 10/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the better mystery/suspense entries in the Mario Bava filmography from the early 60's. Very atmospheric piece about an American (Leticia Roman--who also starred with Elvis in G.I. Blues) who travels to Rome to visit an ailing aunt and becomes involved in a web of mysterious/brutal killings. The film also stars American actor John Saxon. The black and white, widescreen picture is very nice and clean and the audio is adequate, as well. If you appreciate great cinematography (Bava's roots), in addition to a good murder mystery, you can't go wrong here. This is the unrated, international version in Italian with English subtitles. Enjoy!"
Aha, The Source of "Inspiration" for Coen Bros. etc. ..?
Jeffrey Leach | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another entry in the marvelous Mario Bava collection from Image Entertainment, with Tim Lucas' informative liner notes. I agree with everything the other reviewers noted. I have a few observations in addition:1) Despite Mr. Lucas' claim that Bava threw out funny stuff and made the film dark, I and my wife found this film very humourous! It is one of those rare thrillers with actual wit and charm, without overtly comedic elements, from droll narration, to an impeccably timed comic performance by the much underrated John Saxon. I even found the drug-laced cigarette bit an extremely witty and clever framing device. 2) While not as incredible as BLACK SUNDAY, the cinematography and editing of this film are still light-years ahead of many contemporary movies, which goes without saying in a Mario Bava production. The "hospital wakeup" scene with nun's habits arranged like shifting flower petals, and the blurred, out-of-focus visuals in the flashbacks of the journalist-suspect are only two of the numerous examples. 3) It could be my suspicious nature but A LOT of FAMOUS filmmakers seem to have RIPPED OFF this movie. The sequence in which Nora lays out a trap for the murderer is strongly reminiscent of Wes Craven's NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST. (Also with Saxon, cast because Craven remembered how good he was in THE GIRL?) The entire final sequence as well as plot points involving the identity of the murderer are almost exactly reproduced in the much better-known Dario Argento's BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. And those who remember and admire the "beams-of-light-through-bullet-holes" scene in Coen Brothers' BLOOD SIMPLE may be startled to find that Bava has already done it in THE GIRL 25 years ago! And... the list can go on. But the POINT is, MARIO BAVA HAS DONE IT FIRST! HE is the true original. Oh well, Bava and screenwriters have also "borrowed" the "alphabet murder" trick from Agatha Christie's ABC MURDERS, although they do acknowledge their debt to Christie in the narration. At any rate, I highly recommend this film to not only fans of a Hitchcockian murder mystery, but also to (despite Mr. Lucas' liner notes)those who are looking for a cleverly constructed romantic thriller, with a good sense of humour. (Okay, Leticia Roman is no Audrey Hepburn, but who cares?)"
Smart, Funny Thriller with a Smart, Brave Heroine--Nice
Matthew Patton | Deltona, Florida | 06/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many fans of director Mario Bava seem to underrate this film because it isn't as violent or cynical as his later film BLOOD AND BLACK LACE. Personally, I find that to be one of the things that reccomends the film to me; that the film isn't a bloodbath full of loathsome people where the only interest is in seeing how spectacularly unpleasant their demises will be. Although there are holes and improbablilites in the plot, this is generally a suspenseful, humorous film, solidly anchored by the appealing performance of Leticia Roman as the heroine, Nora Davis, an American tourist visiting an old family friend and falling into the middle of a terrifying mystery involving a serial killer who has been attacking women on or near Rome's famous Spanish Steps for almost a decade. Nora witnesses what may have been the latest murder shortly after being attacked by a mugger, so people suspect that she may have imagined the whole thing, but she knows otherwise, and with the help of a friendly doctor (played very nicely by John Saxon), she sets out to prove it.The result is a stylish, entertaining thriller, full of moody atmosphere and eerie set-pieces, such as Nora's rondevous with someone who can help her solve the mystery in an empty but brightly-lit apartment and the harrowing sequence that begins with the death of the family friend, continues with the attack by the mugger on Nora, and ends with her coming to to witness the murder in the Plaza d'Espana, full of rain-slicked streets and moody shadows. Here, Bava proves himself as stylish as anything in Hitchcock, and maybe more so. There is another shot that Hitch would have loved, with a group of nuns in elaborate habits hovering over Nora in a hospital bed, moving away to reveal her face; from overhead, it resembles the blooming of a big, goofy flower. This one of several subtle touches of humor that lighten the proceedings without ever disturbing the forward movement of the plot or lessening the tension. Indeed the film is top-notch in pretty much every area; stylish art direction, excellent costumes by Tania Grani, and a great score by Roberto Nicolosi. One should also say an extra word for the leading ladia, Leticia Roman; she bears a faint resemblance to Natalie Wood, and like that actress, she brings a quiet intelligence and intensity to her performance. Hitchcock would probably have liked her blonde beauty and appreciated her talent as well. But Bava got there first and got a first-rate performance out of her.
It's nice to see a smart, sympathetic woman at the center of a thriller, a heroine as opposed to simply a victim . . ."
THE A B C ... MURDERS
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 04/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In my humble opinion, a movie like Mario Bava's THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH has a lot more cinematographical value than the majority of today movie productions. Even if it's a black & white movie, even if it was filmed in 1962 and even if the actors are not big Hollywood stars. I cherish this kind of movie because films like THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH were responsible a long time ago for the passion I have developed for the seventh art. Firstly, the screenplay is absolutely delirious. Just think that Leticia - NORA - Román, in the first 20 minutes of the movie, has the chance to - Meet a high-class marijuana dealer in her flight to Rome. - Mourn the death of her aunt in her first night in Italy. - Witness, during the same night, the murder of a young woman while running to the hospital. With a plot like this, one has hardly the time to admire the sense of humor of Mario Bava or appreciate the voice of the italian crooner Adriano Celentano as musical background of THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. If you want some beef in a movie, Mario Bava is also your man. You can spend a lot of time discussing the psychological implications of THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. After all, you don't see so often in a film a young girl going to bed after having carefully built a spider nest around herself ! The copy presented by Image is for once of excellent quality. Bonus features, apart of a booklet prepared by the always interesting Mario Bava specialist - Tim Lucas - , consist in the american trailer and a photo and poster gallery. Meager. A DVD zone movie lovers only."