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Forbidden Photos of a Lady Abo

Dagmar Lassander , Pier Paolo Capponi , Luciano Ercoli    Unrated   DVD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull April 18 2006
By A. Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film pre-dates Italian director Ercoli's two "Death Walks..." giallos, currently available in No Shame's DVD box set, and has also been released in a nice widescreen presentation, but sadly it's far inferior to both of them in my opinion. I wouldn't even call it a giallo, just a mystery/thriller.

While out alone one night, young housewife Milou is accosted by a handsome but menacing stranger who tells her he has something planned that will ensure Milou will soon be at his mercy...she escapes him unharmed, but with his chilling words "your husband is a murderer" ringing in her ears. It won't be the last time she hears from him, and what follows is the mildly interesting tale of this mysterious man's campaign of harrassment against Milou, which leads her deeper and deeper into fear and bewilderment. As played by the attractive Dagmar Lassander, Milou makes for a believable and sympathetic heroine, even if she is a bit wet. This is quite important, as, had the character been any less engaging the film would have scarecly kept the viewer's interest going for the full running time. Another plus is the appearance of Ercoli regular Susan Scott as Milou's more worldly friend Dominique, a much more confident woman with a tough attitude and some very colourful past-times (pornography and a variety of casual lovers among them), and as the stalker's attention becomes more fiendish, it's only Dominique who seems capable of keeping Milou the right side of sanity. Less of a plus is the sight of Simon Andreu yet again as the slimy villain...although he's good at this kind of role he never seems to put any extra depth into the often very similar characters he keeps being given to play. Milou's husband is played with no real conviction and an awful comb-over by Pier Paolo Cappoli, but he's very much side-lined by the central three cast members as listed above.

What I really wanted from this film was to be knocked over the head by a complicated and sophisticated plot with some unexpected twists, and a rousing finale to finish it off. If Milou had found herself dragged into a seemingly inescapable situation, but then found the wit and courage to turn the tables on her tormentor, I would have been carried through to the end quite happily, but she doesn't, and the mystery is (finally) solved quite mundanely, with very little flair and no twist revelations - apart from the explanation behind Milou's intimidation, which was not very interesting either.

Once the film was over, I felt as though I had been watching nothing more than 90 minutes of pleasantly moving Italian 1970's wallpaper. There's very little tension or suspense, no set-piece murders (Milou is the only person in peril throughout the film) and no flashy camera work - although I was blown away by one beautifully composed shot of Dagmar Lassander's face framed between two bright red curtains at one point. However thats just one shot! Fans of the Ercoli Death Box Set won't find their expectations met with this film
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-So But Worthwhile For Some July 16 2006
By Brian J. Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fans of Italian Cinecitta, and of the Radley Metzger-type softcore sex films will be interested in this erotic pyschological thriller. The plot is neither here not there - a psycho is terrorizing a beautiful young woman by saying he can prove her husband is a murderer, and she submits to all kinds of humiliation and abuse at his hands for the sake of saving her man. The "twist" at the end is not necessarily predictable, but not too interesting, either. But the film is worthwhile for three reasons, mainly. 1. Despite the tired plot, the story is played out well by all actors 2. Ennio Morricone's breezy, light psychedelic soundtrack is pleasant, if not among his best works 3. Dagmar Lassander, who plays the vitimized woman, is stunningly beautiful, a treat to look at, even when wearing the most ridiculous dresses and outfits. If you're into Metzger and the whole Audobon films thing, or if you just like cool-looking, late 60's Italian films, this is worth a viewing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the 5 points of the Giallo July 5 2013
By cirenelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Oh the 1970s. When you could enjoy a Carlsberg in the City, or even at the racetrack, without getting crowded to distraction. When well known women knew that if you changed your hair color you would probably not be recognised. When idiot dancing was the rage and no-one cared what they looked like doing it. These are probably some of the first things you will notice about Forbidden Photos. The film's apparent vagueness continues when an early killing is discussed at length but as if it doesn't really matter. However once the starry cast get going in their roles the film becomes an absorbing guilty pleasure you will want to return to several times. Forbidden Photos qualifies as a Giallo on all of the 5 major considerations. It is a guess-the-killer murder mystery. It is made by an Italian. It has onscreen killing and blood, and lots of sexy young female flesh. Gorehounds this is a notch or two down on Death Walks In High Heels in the bloodletting stakes. The location, which looks like Naples to me, is impressive and so is the color and the interiors. Blue Underground, 2.35.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indecent Proposal Nov. 6 2011
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
When the Italian Giallo genre is mentioned, Directors such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento quickly come to mind but there were other skilled craftsmen out there who never got there due. One of them is Director Luciano Ercoli who started out in the Italian film industry as a producer and then decided to get into the thriller genre. Blue Underground releases the first of his Giallo trilogy 'THE FORBIDDEN PHOTOS OF A LADY ABOVE SUSPICION 'aka 'LE FOTO PROIBITE DI UNA SIGNORA PER BENE'-1971 in a gorgeous 2.35 transfer from the original negative dubbed in English. Utilizing a routine blackmail storyline written by Italian master Ernesto Gastaldi and May Velasco, the film has a great twist ending which even the staunchest thriller fan may not be able to see coming. The beautiful Dagmar Lassander who starred in many genre titles including Director Rino Di Silvestro's guilty pleasure 'WEREWOLF WOMAN' aka 'LA LUPA MANNARA'-1976 shines along with Ercoli's live in lover Nieves Navarro aka Susan Scott in the kinky antics which are pretty tame by today's standards but erotic nonetheless. With a memorable music score by Ennio Morricone and gorgeous technicolor photography by Alejandro Ulloa, it emerges as a gripping little thriller which has not dated one bit. Gastaldi and Velasco would co-scribe two other gialli for Ercoli in the same year both starring Ms. Navarro. The release also includes a 9 minute interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi who has a number of stories about his scripts and also explains why, after three Giallos, Director Ercoli vanished after only directing two other films. You'll have to purchase this to find out. Highly recommended.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If Hitchcock had made a giallo ... Nov. 12 2006
By D. Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This release is a pleasant surprise dating from 1970, when the giallo craze was just ramping up. Granted, there's very little of the explicit gore and splatter associated with Dario Argento, but there are enough thunderstorms and black gloves to please the giallo fanatic. What this film brings to the table is an obsessive sexual undertone that must have seemed extremely risque at the time. If Hitchcock's Marnie had rolled into the late 1960s, she probably would have wound up in Rome, embroiled in some madness similar to what's portrayed here.

Plot twists abound, and the ending brings an suitably ironic and creepy closure of sorts - but one that leaves you wondering just what would have happened to these characters after all these years.

The cinematography is noteworthy and the vibrant use of color on the sets is stunning, leaving me just a bit nostalgic for the style of the times (minus the shag carpets and the fuschia area rugs).

Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi is shown in a 9-minute bonus interview, reminiscing about the era, and discussing producer Luciano Ercoli, who used the proceeds of this film to fund later, more lavish productions which are available on the Luciano Ercoli set mentioned in the other reviews. On the basis of this release, I plan to check those out.

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