Reviewed byScott_from_Modesto (email@example.com)Vote: 9/10/10
Bird With Crystal Plumage is as fine a thriller as you're likely tocome across. It strikes me as having Hitchcock's mastery of suspensecoupled with the hip urban paranoiac intrigue of the film Blow Up. ButArgento has a style that is more original than referential. What wehave here is a very stylish giallo with very few peers.
The film follows Sam, an American in Italy who happens to bare witnessto an attempted murder. But Sam isn't sure just what he's seen becausea vital piece of information has left his memory. It doesn't add up.Since the local authorities on the case won't allow him to leave thecountry anyway, Sam decides to do a little investigating on his own. Ofcourse, snooping leads him into some dark places and puts him incontact with some shady sources. Not only that, it's apparent thatsomeone wants him out of the picture.
If you've never seen this, you'll never guess how it ends--it comes outof nowhere and the only complaint I will voice about the entire film isthat the finale feels a bit forced. Beyond that, it's all gravy.Argento shows much love for the details, like the flick of a razor anda splash of blood. The tension is thick as Sakrete by the last act and,needless to say, Argento piles on atmosphere, especially in the deathscenes. Bottom line: 9/10.
Reviewed byBjorn (ODDBear)Vote: 9/10/10
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage was Dario Argento's first film and it madehim a hot property. Having had very little experience with actualfilmmaking, he showed incredible potential with his debut and he took fulladvantage of it in years to come. Here he explored a lot of the scenariosthat would later charectarize his films.
With this film, and particularly his next, Dario showed he had beeninfluenced quite a bit by the great Alfred Hitchcock. The theme here; anamerican in a foreign country becomes a witness to a heinous crime andstarts investigating himself; bears more than a little resemblance to manyof Hitchcock's films. An innocent man finds his morbid curiosity gettingthe better of him and as he progresses in his investigations he puts himselfin grave danger. The story unfolds in a similar way to Hitchcock's films,clues are gathered periodically and there's a surprise in the end which ishard to guess, but not impossible.
Argento gradually builds up the suspense and creates a genuinely intriguingmystery. The film never slows down too much and it never fails to beinteresting. It's also got a surprising amount of laughs. But in comparingArgento to Hitchcock, Argento manages to create a style of his own, which he would perfect inProfondo Rosso aka Deep Red a few years later. That's of course the visualstyle. Here he has the assistance of one Vittorio Storaro and the visualaspect of this film is one of it's greatest assets. The film is wonderfullylit every single time and Argento switches effortlessly between dark anddreary visuals to shiny happy images. Argento's visual style is one of hisgreatest trademarks and it bears some influence from the likes of MarioBava. I don't want to name any particular scenes, they all flow welltogether.
Another terrific Argento trademark is the music. Ennio Morricone's score isnothing short of fantastic, ranges from cathcy repetetive melodies tohaunting sounds of fear. I think the impact from Argento's films wouldlessen considerably would it not be for those terrific scores he gets everytime.
However, Argento is not perfect. He seems to lessen his standards when itcomes to the acting department. Here, the characters are a bit wooden andhe doesn't give them all that good lines to deliver. The dialogue in manyof his films seem a little childish. And it doesn't look like he gives themmany instructions, the acting here (and in most of his films) is shaky andnot very consistent. It has been said about Argento that he basicallythinks of actors as human props, what's most important is where they arepositioned and how they move. Also, it's very annoying how he dubs everyfilm, even the american actors have to do voice overs on themselves.
That said, Argento has more pro's than con's. His films are alwaysinteresting and wonderful to look at. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage isin my opinion one of his best. 9 out of 10.
Reviewed byKarl MaukVote: 9/10/10
This is one rare jewel of an intelligent thriller that was also thebreak-through effort for people like Dario Argento, the director andscriptwriter, Vittorio Storaro, the director of photography, and last butnot least Ennio Morricone who composed the soundtrack. There are greatperformances by a cast of lesser known European actors who did not make itbig but are great in this one. I would just like to mention two outstandingsupporting performances by Eva Renzi who was never better before or after,and by Mario Adorf who convinces as half-crazed cat-eating painter. Themovie will keep you glued to your seat and surprise with an absolutelyunexpected twist at the end. Watch and enjoy!
In Italy, the American writer Sam Dalmas witnesses an attempt of murder of the owner of an art gallery, Monica Ranieri, a couple of days before returning home. Inspector Morosini, who is in charge of investigating the three previous murderers of the serial-killer, asks for help to Dalmas and takes his passport. Dalmas decides to stay with his girlfriend Julia and to help the police in the investigation. The killer threatens Dalmas and Julia by phone and the police overhears a strange noise in the tape. Soon the serial killer stalks Julia and Damas. Who might be the killer?