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Le Foto Proibite di una Signora per Bene

The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

Italy/Spain 1970
produced by
Alberto Pugliese, Luciano Ercoli for Produzioni Cinematografiche Mediterranee (PCM), Trébol Films
directed by Luciano Ercoli
starring Dagmar Lassander, Pier Paolo Capponi, Simón Andreu, Susan Scott (= Nieves Navarro), Osvaldo Genazzani, Salvador Huguet
written by Ernesto Gastaldi, Mahnahén Velasco, music by Ennio Morricone, conducted by Bruno Nicolai

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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One evening when going out on her own, Minou (Dagmar Lassander) is threatened by a man (Simón Andreu) who first seems to try to rape her, then though he lets go of her but claims that he has proof that her husband Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi) is a killer. And indeed, a few days later, the man calls her and plays her a tape that would prove that her husband has killed a loanshark whom he owed a considerable sum of money, and he wants to blackmail her. Minou agrees to meet him, a photographer, in his studio. But her blackmailer doesn't want her money, he wants sex, and reluctantly, Minou gives in to his dirty demands, to save her husband. After sex, Minou really gets the tape, but a few days later, she receives photos of herself having sex with her blackmailer - and at the same time the blackmailer tells her the tape was a fake. She confides in her best friend Dominique (Susan Scott), who curiously enough has a porn pic of the blackmailer in her collection, and Dominique persuades her to confess everything to her husband.

With the help of Dominique, Minou tells her husband everything, and though he is (understandably) shocked that his wife believed him to be a killer and had sex with another man, he understands and persuades her go to the police. But once she has told her story, all the evidence seems to disappear: the blackmailer's studio appears to be empty, and has been so for many years, the porn pic of him that Dominique gave Minou has disappeared, and when the blackmailer calls again and Minou hands the phone over to the inspector (Osvaldo Genazzani), his voice has turned into the speaking clock. So before long, everybody believes that Minou is slightly mad - and the pills she is continuously popping seem to only confirm that. Minou even starts to doubt herself - but then one night when Peter's out, the blackmailer pays a social visit, and turns out to be very real, pinning Minou to the floor and starting to torture her with a knife  - and her chances to survive this couldn't be grimmer ...

 

A quite entertaining little thriller that keeps tension and suspense high throughout in uniformly stylish images - but what really makes this one is its plot: Sure, the premise as such isn't exactly original and has been turned into countless movies in all corners of the pulp universe, but it has rarely been turned into a script that works quite like a perfect clockwork as this one and that after a certain suspension of disbelief that comes with the genre doesn't feel at all forced at the same time. And of course, a very strong cast also helps to really bring this to fruitition. Well worth a look for sure!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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