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Dario Argento: Opera
     

Dario Argento: Opera

4.0 2
Director: Dario Argento

Cast: Christina Marsillach, Urbano Barberini, Daria Nicolodi

 

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The polar-opposite worlds of opera and horror collide in this gory giallo film from director Dario Argento. Christina Marsillach (Tom Hanks' romantic interest in Every Time We Say Goodbye) stars as Betty, a beautiful understudy who gets an unlikely break to play the female lead in a contemporary opera of Verdi's Macbeth. Her fear of Macbeth's notorious

Overview

The polar-opposite worlds of opera and horror collide in this gory giallo film from director Dario Argento. Christina Marsillach (Tom Hanks' romantic interest in Every Time We Say Goodbye) stars as Betty, a beautiful understudy who gets an unlikely break to play the female lead in a contemporary opera of Verdi's Macbeth. Her fear of Macbeth's notorious curse proves to have foundation when a psychopath with a strange connection to Betty murders a stage hand in the midst of her debut and later kills several ravens being used in the opera. Characters introduced at this point who could be the killer include: the show's director, Marco (Ian Charleson); Betty's publicist, Mira (Daria Nicolodi); and the police inspector, Alan Santini (Urbano Barberini). The middle third of the film is devoted to the killer's bloody work which serves to torment Betty. The madman binds her and tapes a row of tiny needles beneath her eyes so that she is forced to watch him butcher a young stage manager and a costume designer, among others. With the police investigation going nowhere and the killer zeroing in on Betty's death, Marco decides to enact his own plan to stop the madman; he releases the ravens (apparently, they always remember their enemies) during a performance. The birds circle wildly before attacking the killer and plucking one of his eyeballs out. He absconds with Betty, but dies in a fire after revealing his demented motivation and his connection to the young singer. A final scene set in the Swiss mountains provides a couple of final shocks. ~ Patrick Legare

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Italian horror director Dario Argento's shocker Opera features a strong display of the filmmaker's signature styles in terms of inventive visuals and fantastic murder set pieces, but the film lacks the story cohesion it needs to fall into the category of his classic genre films. Inspired by Phantom of the Opera (which Argento remade in 1999), Opera tells the story of a young understudy (Christina Marsillach) who gets her chance to sing thanks to a deranged madman whose connection to the singer doesn't become clear until the ending. In the meantime, he torments her in a most devious way -- by taping needles under her eyes so that she is forced to witness his excruciating murders. For gore fans, these sequences mark the film's finest moments. These include a brutal stabbing in which the victim is hacked in the throat and hands, a gut-wrenching tracheotomy, and a shot of the killer having his eye plucked out by a crow. The showstopper is a close-up of a bullet being fired through a door peephole and into Daria Nicolodi's head. The excellent special makeup effects by Sergio Stivaletti are complemented by a high-voltage selection of heavy metal tunes (an Argento signature) and a great score that features contributions by Claudio Simonetti and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. The screenplay by Argento and Franco Ferrini starts with a good premise and an intriguing setting (the opera). However, the characters are rather one-dimensional (not to mention poorly acted) and the story's "surprise" revelation is less than spectacular. On the plus side, the film features one final shock sequence that ends things on a bizarre and disturbing note. Overall, the final result is a decent, fairly typical Argento film that is worth watching primarily for its above-average murder sequences.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
UPC:
0827058106498
Original Release:
1987
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Conducting Dario Argento's Opera - Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Cinematographer Ronnie Taylor, Animatronics Artist Sergio Stivaletti, Composer Claudio Simonetti, and Stars Daria Nicolodi and Urbano Barberini; Theatrical Trailers; "Opera" Music Video by Daemonia; Dario Argento Bio.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christina Marsillach Betty
Urbano Barberini Insp. Alan Santini
Daria Nicolodi Mira
Ian Charleson Marco
Antonella Vitale Actor
William McNamara Stefan,Urbano
Barbara Cupisti Actor
Mirella D'Angelo Actor
Maurizio Garrone Actor
Gyorsy Rath Gyorivanku Actor
Peter Pitsch Actor
Sebastiano Somma Actor
Carola Stagnaro Actor
Michelle Torres Actor
Karl Zinny Actor
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni Giulia
Francesca Cassola Alma

Technical Credits
Dario Argento Director,Producer,Screenwriter
David Bassan Art Director
Brian Eno Score Composer
Franco Ferrini Screenwriter
Franco Fraticelli Editor
Mario Cecchi Gori Producer
Vittorio Cecchi Gori Producer
Germano Natali Special Effects
Rosario Prestopino Makeup
Claudio Simonetti Score Composer
Ronnie Taylor Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Opera
1. Program Start / Main Titles [3:14]
2. The Ingenue [5:01]
3. Ominous Overture [3:30]
4. Command Performance [5:09]
5. Rising Star [5:11]
6. Beauty and The Blade [1:43]
7. Cries of the Ravens [4:27]
8. Witness to Slaughter [4:57]
9. Lost in the Storm [3:12]
10. Strangers in the Hall [4:19]
11. "Don't Cry, Betty" [2:51]
12. Suspicion [4:52]
13. Costume Repair [3:45]
14. Shear Horror [5:31]
15. "He Makes Me Watch" [5:02]
16. Lights Out [4:02]
17. Peephole [2:52]
18. Self-Defense [3:03]
19. In the Air Vents [:14]
20. No Escape [4:19]
21. What Dreams May Come... [3:25]
22. Aria of Terror [2:13]
23. "Just Like Your Mother" [1:23]
24. Inferno [:57]
25. "Run, For God's Sake!" [3:13]
26. Free [3:40]
27. End Credits [4:25]

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Dario Argento: Opera 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie, just like all Argento movies, is a visual masterpiece with its camera angles and creativity. It got a little draggy at some points, though. Not one of my favorite Argento films but a must have for true fans.