THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

PrintE-mail Written by John Knott

BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1963) / DIRECTOR: MARIO BAVA / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: LETICIA ROMAN, JOHN SAXON, VALENTINA CORTESSE, DANTE DIPAOLO, GIANNI DI BENEDETTO / RELEASED: OUT NOW

What do cars, shoes and thrillers have in common? [No idea where this going – Ed] They’re all things that the Italians seem to do with effortless style. [Nicely done - Ed] In fact, a certain style of Italian thriller is considered a genre of its own: giallo. The giallo film usually features the gruesome murder of a woman being witnessed by another woman who no-one believes and consequently everyone assumes is off her rocker (which she may actually be at various points in the film). There’s normally a fair bit of sex and always a lot of flashy camerawork. With some variations, that seems pretty much a giallo to us. As it happens, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is considered the very first of this most-Italian of things and it’s from one of the masters: Mario Bava. You’ll know him from no end of Italian flicks including Black Sunday (1960) and the one with the shit-scary old lady that indirectly invented British heavy metal, Black Sabbath (1963).

Letícia Román’s Nora Davis turns up in Rome to visit her sick auntie who is being treated by, of all people, John Saxon as Dr. Marcello Bassi. There’s some rum doings on the plane but it all gets really strange when her auntie dies and she witnesses a murder while running round in nothing but a rain coat. Obviously no-one believes her and, in a nicely self-referential touch, assumes that her obsession with pulp murder-mystery novels and a vivid imagination is the problem. But we know better: there’s the mysterious “alphabet murders” from ten years earlier; there’s strange things in cupboards that disappear when they seem to prove she’s not mad; there’s a locked study; mysterious phone calls; red herrings galore and all the other stuff you want in a good thriller.

Actually, in many ways TGWKTM isn’t a typical giallo as the tropes weren’t in place at this stage. There’s no sex and no lurid colours (this was actually Bava’s last black & white film) and, as suggested by that almost-but-not-quite title, it owes more to Hitchcock than anything else. But Hitchcock never looked through a camera; he paid perfectly good cinematographers for that. Bava started his career as a cinematographer so it’s no surprise that it looks fantastic and well-worthy of a Blu-ray release. Bava himself reckoned the story was actually a bit silly. He might have had a point but go with it because it’s good fun and when something is as stylish as this then you’ll get dragged along into the spirit of things anyway. Good looking and entertaining, not to mention culturally important. If only we could all be like that. Bring on the Bava...

Special Features: Audio commentary by Mario Bava biographer Tim Lucas / Introduction by writer and critic Alan Jones / All About the Girl documentary / Trailers / Booklet
 

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.

CLICK TO BUY!

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:



Suggested Articles:
John Boorman’s revenge drama starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson is released on Blu-Ray as par
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 2 Complete Collection brings together the final season of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal and
The DC Universe is a unique world full of mythical, larger-than-life characters ever since its birth
Many contemporary comedians cite Richard Pryor as the biggest influence on their own material and ca
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

POINT BLANK 14 October 2017

YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL SEASON 2 COMPLETE COLLECTION 14 October 2017

WONDER WOMAN 12 October 2017

THE RICHARD PRYOR COLLECTION 12 October 2017

THE UNRAVELING 11 October 2017

VAMPIR CUADECUC (1971) 10 October 2017

THE STEVE MARTIN COLLECTION 10 October 2017

COLD MOON 10 October 2017

CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS 10 October 2017

THE YAKUZA (1974) 10 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner