Above average 'giallo'
Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 06/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Who Saw Her Die" is a slightly above average foreign who done it, murder mystery (an Italian giallo). It's not an essential film but is one of definite interest. The director is Aldo Lado who worked with Bernardo Bertolucci as an (A.D.) on The Conformist and at least during pre-production of Last Tango in Paris. The film pre-dates Nicholas Roeg's modern classic,'Don't Look Now' and you can see many similarities in the two films from the Venice locations, how the camera is used in several scenes, and with the subject of a couple dealing with the loss/murder of their child. The film has another memorable film score from Ennio Morricone which seems likely to have inspired John Carpenter's 'Halloween' score. George Lazenby, who was Bond, James Bond in the very good 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' is the star and does a decent job (though he looks sickly thin). Former Bond bad guy Adolfo Celi (Thunderball) has a memorable supporting role. There's a couple of very beautiful women in the cast (including:Anita Strindberg) who have nude scenes as well. The gore is fairly minimal, but the subject matter of child murders is quite disturbing. Elements of the film are certainly dated, but for most this will make the film more interesting. There is a final last line in the film that is an utter cop out, but I'm quite sure the censors absolutely insisted on such a thing and since it is obviously a very quickly tossed off final line, one should be able to keep in mind the filmmakers were probably forced into doing it.
Let me again mention the wonderful Venice location work that is in this film-not the Venice most tourists are likely to see but the older and off-the- beaten path Venice.The film opens with a child sledding in the snow. The child is being watched by someone with a black veil. Then the child is murdered and buried under the snow. Most of the shots are from the murderers P.O.V. and our clue of a black veil is a stylish touch (that wasn't as overdone when this film was made as it is now). The film then takes it time introducing us to a sculptor (George Lazenby) and his visiting young daughter (Nicoletta Elmi) whose mother (Anita Strindberg)lives in London. We realize, the young child is being stalked by what appears to be the same person who murdered the child in the snow. After several close calls, the thing every parent fears most happens. The child disappears and then is found brutally murdered. The police don't seem to be working hard enough to solve the murder so it is up to the determined, grieving and obsessed father to interview possible suspects and explore every possibility. He meets some pretty shady characters and the film seems to be setting up the possibility that several characters are somehow involved in the murder. Although it's often a run-of-the-mill formula type film, there are enough stylistic touches, a good score, and interesting locations to keep your interest. The who-done-it might surprise you but even if it doesn't the film may be of some interest to Giallo, or mystery fans. The film is in English and presented in wide screen. The image and sound quality is very high.The DVD also features a short recent interview with the director that many will find very interesting (the interview is in Italian but subtitled). Giallo fans may want to up my rating a half-star. ..."
One of the Best Giallos Around
The Magician | New York, NY | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aldo Lado's 1972 film is easily one of the best giallos around. In terms of style it comes close to the early Argento films which makes it a standout among dozens of other similar films. In the lead role, George Lazenby is very good as a grief-stricken father on the hunt for the killer of his child. The cast also includes the stunning and appealing Swedish actress Anita Strindberg and Adolfo Celi. The Venice locations and camerawork are superb as is Ennio Morricone's score--it's hard to get the operatic theme out of your head!. This well-crafted, very entertaining film is one of my favorites and way better than Umberto Lenzi's silly "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" or Sergio Martino's tiresome "All the Colors of the Dark". Enjoy!"
Who saw it make sense?
Robert Cossaboon | The happy land of Walworth, NY | 05/07/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen my share of the Bavas and Argentos and Fulcis, I know it is a given that your average Italian horror/suspense movie made in the sixties and seventies is going to have some standard issues: gratuitous sex, gratuitously excessive violence, not very believable characters, even less believable villians (in terms of motivation) and a guarenteed non-sequitor unravelling (denoumois ??) that will often-times leave you scratching your head and saying 'What?????' Who Saw Her Die, directed by Aldo Lado, is no exception. As giallos go, it falls squarely in the middle of excellence, with Deep Red/Don't Torture a Duckling on the end of excellence and Blade In The Dark on the end of banality. For most of the film, the plot seems to move forward in a logical manner; it is only when you get to the climax you have to wonder how all the murders have been woven together--since each death in a Giallo is part of the bigger picture. I was completely stymied. The child murders I understand in terms of plot and character development, but the rest of the deaths are beyond me as to how they were connected with the murderer. Other problems were George Lazenby, the one-time James Bond in Her Majesty's Secret Service. In this film he was physically skanky and nasty; how could a character that foul and disgusting looking be married to a super-model wife and have an affair with a woman who almost looks as good. Ohhhh, he's an artist, so he must have the right. Uh-huh. The violence isn't particularly graphic, although the sight of dead children floating in the Venice canal might be particularly disturbing to some. Some of the scenes are very atmospheric, an always strong selling point for any giallo. Lado's scenes with the thick fog were especially effective. In all, Who Saw Her Die is a very entertaining giallo with lots of suspense, but don't expect the logic of plausibility to truimph in the end."