The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

( 2 )

Overview

This trend-setting thriller put its director, Dario Argento, on the international map and began a flood of imitative mystery-horror hybrids which dominated Italian genre output in the early 1970s. Tony Musante, best known for the television series Toma, portrays an American who witnesses the murder of a woman at a trendy Rome art gallery. Before long, Musante finds himself targeted by a mysterious killer. Based on a story by Byron Edgar Wallace, Bird and hints at the flamboyance which would become Argento's ...
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Overview

This trend-setting thriller put its director, Dario Argento, on the international map and began a flood of imitative mystery-horror hybrids which dominated Italian genre output in the early 1970s. Tony Musante, best known for the television series Toma, portrays an American who witnesses the murder of a woman at a trendy Rome art gallery. Before long, Musante finds himself targeted by a mysterious killer. Based on a story by Byron Edgar Wallace, Bird and hints at the flamboyance which would become Argento's trademark. This and Argento's subsequent two films Il Gatto a Nove Code and Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio were much less horror-oriented than his later work.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Dario Argento's directorial debut, is the rare serial killer picture that leaves much to the imagination by staging its murders with a minimum of gore and a reliance on strategic camera work. These scenes often have a claustrophobic feel to them, as they focus on hands, knives, and body parts, and use sound and editing to fill in the rest. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro displays his usual command of the visuals, whether he is showing off by having the camera give a point-of-view shot as a man falls to his death or is taking a more subtle approach when cloaking the protagonist in darkness as he is pursued through the streets by a yellow-jacketed assassin. Among the better scenes are: the opening sequence of Sam watching as Monica is attacked in a gallery while he is trapped behind a glass door and unable to help her; the scene where Julia is trapped in her apartment while the killer tries to carve through the door with a knife; and the surprising conclusion. All of these scenes contain the feeling of helplessness in the face of horror, a sense of being unable to prevent violence from happening to others or to oneself. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage looks very much like a product of its time -- the cosmopolitan atmosphere, the ultra-stylish approach to an old genre, and the sense that it is trying to shock its audience with a use of sex and violence (and, at times, a combination of the two) that was probably pushing the envelope in 1969, but which has considerably tamed over time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 089859901324
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Source: Vci Video
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 10,202

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tony Musante Sam Dalmas
Suzy Kendall Julia
Eva Renzi Monica
Enrico Maria Salerno Morosini
Mario Adorf Berto
Renato Romano Dover
Dario Argento Black jacketed killer
Carla Mancini
Fulvio Mingozzi
Reggie Nalder Assassin
Werner Peters
Umberto Raho Ranieri
Technical Credits
Dario Argento Director, Screenwriter
Salvatore Argento Producer
Franco Fraticelli Editor
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Roberto Pariante Asst. Director
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The MASTER!

    Of all the Italian horror directors, it's Argento who's at the top of the heap. His movies are some of the most visually stunning movies (regardless of genre) that you'll ever see. And his plot hooks, while often obtuse, are always compelling. This movie is not an exception to the rule. I can't tell you much about it without going into spoiler territory, but I can recommend THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE without reservation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    try it

    Now i'm about as much of an Argento fan that you'll find now a days, especially of my age. But this one just didn't do it for me. it began decent but it eventually dragged. YOu can definetly tell that Argento would become something special from his style but it's not a good choice for people who are just getting into the man.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews