The Girl Who Knew Too Much, 1963.
Directed by Mario Bava.
Starring Letícia Román, John Saxon, Gianni De Benedetto, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos and Robert Buchanan.
A young American witnesses a murder while visiting Rome and inadvertently stumbles upon a serial killer nicknamed the ABC murderer – and her name begins with a D!
Part of the considerable charm of this discerning Blu-ray release is that it shows exactly how two different releases of the same film can offer remarkably diverse experiences…
Bava’s original Italian release with the Hitchcockian inspired title takes in a far darker sense of impending dread and horror. After all, as the excellent extra features from various genre experts inform us, this title can in many senses be seen to be one of the first true giallo films, mixing elements of murder mystery with the modish cinematography and stylistic elements that would go on to inspire the next generation of blood-red drenched dream weavers.
The other take on this story is the re-edited and re-dubbed American release, complete with a voice-over and a far greater impetus placed on the romantic element of the story. In effect, the two films offer a very different feel. Personally I felt that the original Italian cut fares much better in treatment that the American one, and there are some truly disturbing sequences. What’s more is that Letícia Román’s Nora Davis character is far stronger, more of a daring private investigator of teen fiction style than the somewhat more doe-eyed counterpart presented in the American take.
Both films are agreeable enough and present a stylish look at the roots of giallo and Bava’s own gifts for experimentation. With all of this kept in mind, an interesting and intriguing double-bill can take place with the same core film…
High Definition Blu-ray and Standard DVD presentation of two versions of the film: The Girl Who Knew Too Much – the original Italian version; and Evil Eye – the re-edited and re-scored US version. Audio commentary by Mario Bava’s biographer Tim Luca, introduction by writer and critic Alan Jones, All About the Girl documentary on Mario Bava’s classic giallo. International and US trailer. Illustrated collector’s booklet
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer.