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Deep Red (Widescreen)

David Hemmings , Daria Nicolodi , Dario Argento    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Considered by many to be Dario Argento's first masterpiece, Deep Red recalls his first hit, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. British star David Hemmings (Blow-Up) plays an American jazz pianist who witnesses a brutal, bloody murder from afar and turns detective to find the killer. Kooky Italian journalist Daria Nicolodi (Argento's wife and cowriter on Suspiria) joins him as comic relief and tepid romantic interest, but the real costar is Argento's high style: gliding camera, razor-sharp editing, and gorgeous but gruesome set pieces. The story is convoluted, to say the least--plotting was never Argento's strong suit and the unnecessary exposition often drags the film down--but his vivid, horrific imagery is perfect for a thriller driven by haunting memories. Deep Red was originally released in the U.S. in a severely cut version retitled The Hatchet Murders (odd since the killer uses a butcher's knife). Producer Bill Lustig has restored the film to its original two-hour-plus running time, though some scenes exist only with Italian-language soundtracks (which are subtitled). It's a bit jarring at first (it makes for an unintended joke when a man suddenly checks his hearing aid after a language switch), but it's the only way to see Argento's original cut. There's also a brief 25th anniversary documentary with Argento and cowriter Bernardino Zapponi, and the DVD offers a choice of English and Italian language versions. --Sean Axmaker

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Argento has done better Feb. 14 2004
Though I truely wanted to like this film, I just had a hard time doing so. I usually like Argento films. I loved Suspiria, Inferno, and Phenomena and I read that Deep Red was one of his best, so I bought it. I for one thought this uncut version would be great, but it's actually the cut material spliced back in the film that hinders it, at least for me. The newly restored material was never dubbed, so through out the entire film we get little pieces here and there spliced in that are spoken Italian with subtitles. It's really annoying because the characters will be talking in English at one moment and then suddenlly halfway through their sentence, their voice changes sound and they are speaking Italian. I found this quite annoying and distracting because it takes you out of the film. Also most of the "new" restored material doesn't add a whole lot to the film. Most of it is just talking that adds really nothing new to the plot. I would have probably liked this film better if I saw the cut version, which is strange for me to say because I usually like "extended" versions of films. Overall Deep Red had plenty of style but little substance. I can see why die-hard Argento fans like this film because it is thick with his style, but for casual fans like me, we have seen him do much better. I for one found this film to drag and, should I dare say, get boring in some parts. People new to Argento are better to start off somewhere else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great classic April 23 2004
After thirty years from its original appearance in 1975, Profondo Rosso (as Deep Red is titled in Italian) is still an exciting movie to watch. Unlike many of Argento's subsequent movies, Deep Red's plot is very well constructed, and the careful viewer (well...the VERY careful viewer) can pick up at least two crucial clues. The first, in the very first minutes of the movie, is central to the plot, but it is very easy to miss. It makes for a nice challenge to the first time viewer. Deep Red marks, in my opinion, the highest level of Argento's work. The atmosphere of the movie is greatly enhanced by the first collaboration of Argento with the musical group Goblin. A great soundtrack. I saw this movie first when I was a young student. Now,I saw it again to keep me company during my weekly long run on the treadmill. It made the run exciting, and time just flew!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
People weren't lying when they said this was Argento's masterpiece. Everything from murder scences to the ones where people were just talking kept me in interest. Once again the music was incredible. All of Argento's music in his movies seem to be well done. The ending of this movie was fantastic! I enjoyed this film a lot more then Tenebrae because it was more interesting. This movie made more sense..and kept me in suspence more. I don't know why some people said that this movie is boring, because it is not.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Things I Learned From Watching "Deep Red" Jan. 18 2004
1. When you hear a child singing, you are about to die horribly.
2. When you see a woman being beaten to death with a meat cleaver, the most sensible course of action is to run immediately to the scene (preferably unarmed).
3. If you find yourself being chased around by a hatchet-wielding maniac, remember that elevators make good weapons.
4. Jazz pianists are unbelievably dim-witted.
The thing to remember about Dario Argento's movies is that style is treated with more importance than plot or dialogue. "Deep Red" has little in the way of original plot (owing much to Antonioni's "Blow Up" or Argento's own "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage"), and some of the interaction between David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi is painful to watch and listen to. The fact that the language sometimes switches back and forth between Italian and English in the middle of a scene is only a minor distraction, but it doesn't do much in the film's favour.
I can't agree with those who describe this as Argento's best, but it's still a very entertaining couple of hours (probably closer to 3.5 stars). Inventive killings, several red herrings to keep the viewer on edge (including one which, admittedly, is so blindingly obvious that it made me wonder how Hemmings' character took so long to realise it himself - see point 4 above), and an underlying sense of malice running through the entire film make for an uncomfortable experience....but it's uncomfortable in a good way. A word of warning, though: if you're *too* perceptive, you'll know the killer's identity very early in the movie. It's a question of knowing where to look.
Aside from the constant switching between languages, my only real gripe with the film would be its soundtrack.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Argento's grand giallo Dec 29 2003
I really couldn't tell you why I have yet to watch every film in Dario Argento's filmography, but by watching "Deep Red," I am finally starting to make some inroads into his body of work. It was easy to claim ignorance of many of this Italian director's important works a few years ago because it was difficult to find them anywhere, let alone in an uncut form. Fortunately, DVD arrived on the scene and eager film fans with dollars to spend inspired numerous companies to start churning out any movie they could get their hands. Even Troma, the flagship of flaccid filmmaking, released a so-so version of Argento's "The Stendhal Syndrome." It wasn't too long before practically every Argento film arrived on store shelves, many of them in uncut, unrated formats. Unfortunately, most viewers have most likely never heard of Dario Argento. 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 violence. For a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, Argento drifted away from his tried and true giallo formula, only recently returning to some semblance of form with "Stendhal" and "Sleepless." "Deep Red" is Argento firmly entrenched in his giallo prime, a movie loaded with black-gloved killings, intricate plot twists and turns, and atmosphere so think you can cut it with a knife.
Starring David Hemmings (who recently passed away) and Dario's real life squeeze Daria Nicolodi, "Deep Red" continually reminded me of his first picture, "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage" because Argento presents with essentially the same set up.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5-A classic example of 70's Giallo from Italian horror maestro...
This is one unique movie. I'm slowly becoming a fan Argento and this is so far my favorite of his films, though it should be noted that I have not yet seen all his films. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2008 by Jenny J.J.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
This is a gem of a horror movie with its many moods and dimensions. The feeling of terror starts early when a clairvoyant giving a demonstration suddenly experiences a panic attack... Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2007 by Pieter Uys
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible
The movie is long and slow. The uncut version is about 2 hours. The music sounds like it came from a 70s porn movie. The only good part were the original murders.
Published on July 7 2004 by chicoer2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable Argento classic
To make this review shorter, I won't go on about the plot or the plot twists and the characters and such. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Wrathchild862000
3.0 out of 5 stars Uh...strange!
When a psychic mind reader picks up on the thoughts of a murderer, little did he know that he'd soon become a victim! Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by Zacc
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Fulci? No way.........
I love Fulci's movies. In the past two years with the help of the internet and Amazon in particular, Ive pursued his work. Read more
Published on May 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever!
One of Argento's finest giallos ever! I just can't say enough about this movie! I am going to issue a 5 star rating to counter-balance the trolls who come here and post... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by N. Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT MASTERPIECE!!!!
This is my favorite Dario Argento`s film. The colors, the suspense, the story, the camera works and the murder scenes in which you really believe to be victim or the murderer are... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2003 by Yannick Villeneuve-Monast
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