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The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (2-Disc Special Edition)

25 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 68.90
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Writers: Dario Argento, Fredric Brown
  • Producers: Artur Brauner, Salvatore Argento
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Release Date: Nov. 1 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B64U04
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,028 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) is an American reporter living in Rome who witnesses what appears to be a murder. Trapped by a glass wall, he can't intervene, but does manage to scare off the killer. Wounded, the victim survives, and Dalmas's curiosity drives him to look further into the story, but he soon finds himself and his girlfriend in jeopardy and stalked by the would-be murderer. Director Dario Argento's debut film is a remarkable work, more restrained than many of his later films. Based on an obscure l950s pulp novel, Bird draws heavily on Hitchcock, as well as on American novelists such as Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich. At the same time, its execution makes it a highly original, inventive, and fast-paced film that plays with the conventions of the thriller genre. As was often the case with Hitchcock's work, Dalmas is a spectator to the original crime, reflecting the voyeuristic role of the film audience. He's an ordinary guy who unravels the circumstances of the crime until he comes across the most unlikely scenario, a device also reminiscent of Hitchcock. The score, editing, and camera work, however, give the film a distinctly Italian stamp, and established Argento as a stylish, innovative director to watch. The scene in which Dalmas is chased through the streets by a gun-toting assassin, in particular, is a little gem of suspense. Modern-day thrillers should hope to live up to this film's intelligence, energy, and intricate plot twists. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
After writing for Sergio Leone's "Once upon a Time in the West", Dario Argento started his director career with "Bird with the Crystal plumage". A thriller that would spawn the giallo genre and become a landmark in Italian and even worldwide cinema.
The story we have here is of Sam Dalmas, an American writer on holiday in Italy who found himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time. stuck between two glass doors, Dalmas witnesses an assault a black-coated criminal did on a woman inside a closed gallery. An incident that turns him, with the police's help, an investigator on the case. Finding clues involving artwork, back noises, voices; all linked to a serial killer who has been terrorizing the city and who has murdered three women for a month.

As a story, the plotline is exclusively focused on the crime case. Indeed, we don't know much about the characters' past, how Sam and his girlfriend met, and how they are viewing their relationship, or their job. Only the most basic elements do we know about their lives. Therefore, instead of being a character-driven story, we have instead a situation driven plot; that of a murder plotline which creates reactions from the characters who are caught in its web. So don't expect any grand psychological diving into Sam's psychological profile if you are watching this movie. You just sit down and enjoy the 96 minutes ride Argento is giving. Whether it is the gorgeous sets by Dario Micheli, Vittorio Storaro's subtle cinematography, Ennio Morricone's music, Argento's tight camera movements, and the very artistic murders he displays in his movies. Something that may shock some viewers as the violence is graphical, blunt and not for the faint of heart.
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Format: DVD
I really couldn't tell you why I have yet to watch every film in Dario Argento's filmography. A few years ago it was easy to claim ignorance of many of this Italian director's important works because it was often so difficult to find any of them in an uncut form. Fortunately, DVD arrived on the scene and salivating film fans with dollars to spend prodded numerous companies to start churning out any movie they could get their hands on to satiate the masses. It wasn't too long before practically every Argento film arrived on store shelves, with many of these releases being the uncut, unrated editions. Even Troma, the flagship of flaccid filmmaking, released a so-so version of Argento's "The Stendhal Syndrome." People outside of the world of Italian horror cinema have most likely never heard of Dario Argento, unfortunately. These days, more people are familiar with the director's beautiful daughter Asia than with the horror maestro himself. What a shame. Argento's films, at least the ones I have seen, are masterpieces of style injected with truly cringe inducing gore. And to think it all started in earnest with this engaging Hitchcockian thriller, "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage." Argento and his fans never looked back, but this is an apt starting point for those unfamiliar with this director's work.
An American reporter staying in Rome witnesses a truly shattering event one evening when he sees a gruesome assault takes place inside of an art gallery. Barred from interfering with the proceedings due to huge sliding glass doors, Sam Dalmas can only look on with horror as two figures, one clad entirely in black and the other a woman, struggle with each other over a very shiny knife.
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By A Customer on Oct. 16 2002
Format: DVD
*The Bird with the Crystal Plumage* is cult-fave Dario Argento's first movie. Horror fans have complained that *Bird* is too tame for their bloody taste; that it's for "completists" only. (Meaning, Argento fans should have it only to complete their collection, and others need not bother.) They're right, in a sense: we certainly don't swim through rivers of blood and gobbets of gore as we will later in Argento's *Deep Red* and *Suspiria*. This 1969 film explicitly tips its hat to *Psycho* -- and the Hitchcock oeuvre, generally -- without straying too far beyond the parameters of graphic violence that had been set by the earlier film. Hitchcock devotees will be familiar with the type of protagonist presented here: an American in Rome who becomes a witness to a murder, finds himself under a cloud of suspicion, is hunted by the real killer, starts an investigation of his own . . . you know the drill. (Tony Musante's inept performance is good for some chuckles. Though to be fair, he's Olivier compared to the amateurs Argento tends to cast in his films.) In any case, there's more to any movie than just blood & guts, all you horror fans out there. This movie has about 6 or 7 set-pieces -- Musante witnessing the crime while trapped within glass partitions like a bug in a jar; a chase through a graveyard for Rome's public buses; our hero getting literally pressed down by a collapsed sculpture that has spikes; the surprising revelations at the end; and especially the cloaked killer's attempt to carve a hole through a door using his murderous knife, in order to get at the hero's girlfriend -- ALL of which are worthy of the deepest admiration.
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