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Girl Who Knew Too Much

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 99.89
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Product Details

  • Actors: Letícia Román, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos
  • Directors: Mario Bava
  • Writers: Mario Bava, Eliana De Sabata, Ennio De Concini, Enzo Corbucci, Franco Prosperi
  • Producers: Massimo De Rita
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Release Date: Sept. 26 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305907706
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,266 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Nora Davis (Leticia Roman) jets away to Rome to vacation with Edith, an old friend of her family. Unfortunately, her trip is anything but relaxing On the first night, Edith dies--and as Nora runs into the night for help, she becomes an eyewitness to murder as she sees a woman stabbed to death on the Piazza di Spagna! Being a young woman with an insatiable appetite for murder mysteries, Nora can't get anyone to believe her story, but with the help of the attentive Dr. Marcello Bassi (John Saxon), she learns that a murder did occur on that very spot--10 years earlier--when Emily Craven fell victim to the "Alphabet Murderer"! What did Nora Davis really see, and who is stalking her through Rome? Could it be the Alphabet Killer, looking for Victim D? Mario Bava's "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" is a stylish homage to the "Americans Abroad" thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock. Originally released in America (in greatly revised form) as "Evil Eye," Bava's innovative thriller is presented here--for the first time--in its original director's cut.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Bava pays explicit homage to Hitchcock in this fun, mostly light
hearted mystery.

An American girl vacationing in Rome witnesses what might be a
murder (or is it her overactive imagination, spurred on by her love
of cheap mystery novels?). And before you know it, she's the
possible target of a serial killer.

The black and white photography is beautiful, but Bava tones his
style down just a bit, and it works; the photography compliments
the story, without swamping it,.

There are weak spots, like an annoying voice over that insists on
explaining what the images are making very clear by themselves,
and performances that are uneven (especially in supporting roles).
But, the bottom line is, if it wasn't in Italian, one could even believe
this was a Hitchcock film, which is a pretty high compliment...
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Format: DVD
Many fans of director Mario Bava seem to underrate this film because it isn't as violent or cynical as his later film BLOOD AND BLACK LACE. Personally, I find that to be one of the things that reccomends the film to me; that the film isn't a bloodbath full of loathsome people where the only interest is in seeing how spectacularly unpleasant their demises will be. Although there are holes and improbablilites in the plot, this is generally a suspenseful, humorous film, solidly anchored by the appealing performance of Leticia Roman as the heroine, Nora Davis, an American tourist visiting an old family friend and falling into the middle of a terrifying mystery involving a serial killer who has been attacking women on or near Rome's famous Spanish Steps for almost a decade. Nora witnesses what may have been the latest murder shortly after being attacked by a mugger, so people suspect that she may have imagined the whole thing, but she knows otherwise, and with the help of a friendly doctor (played very nicely by John Saxon), she sets out to prove it.
The result is a stylish, entertaining thriller, full of moody atmosphere and eerie set-pieces, such as Nora's rondevous with someone who can help her solve the mystery in an empty but brightly-lit apartment and the harrowing sequence that begins with the death of the family friend, continues with the attack by the mugger on Nora, and ends with her coming to to witness the murder in the Plaza d'Espana, full of rain-slicked streets and moody shadows. Here, Bava proves himself as stylish as anything in Hitchcock, and maybe more so.
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Format: DVD
In the liner notes by Tim Lucas (which are as usual
the strongest and most interesting entry in the bonus
section) we learn that Bava only reluctantly accepted
to direct this movie. Nevertheless, the result is
a masterpiece.
The plot evolves around Nora Dralston, a lover of "Gialli"
who travels to Rome for vacation but wakes up in a nightmare
which forces her to solve a murder mystery. The plot is
quite artificial, but that goes for most movies of this
It is Bava's direction which makes this movie an unforgettable
experience. Like Hitchcock (to whom not only the title pays
hommage), Bava is in the entire movie in full possession of
all the means at his disposition, he always finds
the right camera angle, the right shot to propel the story
and to create an extremely intense atmosphere of fear and
threat. Bava contrived almost surreal scenes such as an empty
appartment with swinging light bulbs and an eerie voice from
a tape recorder. The scene when Nora gets mugged at the totally
deserted Piazza di Spagna and witnesses the crime is one of
the most memorable scenes I have ever watched. In order
to provide the viewers with a little relief from the thrills
he has created, Bava inserts quite a lot of comic moments.
The movie has definitely had an enormous impact on movie makers
around the world. Most clearly, "The Girl who knew to much"
reveals the influence Bava's work had on Dario Argento.
E.g., the relationship between Marcus Daly and Gianna Brezzi
in "Deep Red" is somewhat reminiscent of the one between
Nora and Dr. Bassi in "The Girl ...".
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Format: DVD
Another entry in the marvelous Mario Bava collection from Image Entertainment, with Tim Lucas' informative liner notes. I agree with everything the other reviewers noted. I have a few observations in addition:
1) Despite Mr. Lucas' claim that Bava threw out funny stuff and made the film dark, I and my wife found this film very humourous! It is one of those rare thrillers with actual wit and charm, without overtly comedic elements, from droll narration, to an impeccably timed comic performance by the much underrated John Saxon. I even found the drug-laced cigarette bit an extremely witty and clever framing device.
2) While not as incredible as BLACK SUNDAY, the cinematography and editing of this film are still light-years ahead of many contemporary movies, which goes without saying in a Mario Bava production. The "hospital wakeup" scene with nun's habits arranged like shifting flower petals, and the blurred, out-of-focus visuals in the flashbacks of the journalist-suspect are only two of the numerous examples.
3) It could be my suspicious nature but A LOT of FAMOUS filmmakers seem to have RIPPED OFF this movie. The sequence in which Nora lays out a trap for the murderer is strongly reminiscent of Wes Craven's NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST. (Also with Saxon, cast because Craven remembered how good he was in THE GIRL?) The entire final sequence as well as plot points involving the identity of the murderer are almost exactly reproduced in the much better-known Dario Argento's BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. And those who remember and admire the "beams-of-light-through-bullet-holes" scene in Coen Brothers' BLOOD SIMPLE may be startled to find that Bava has already done it in THE GIRL 25 years ago! And... the list can go on. But the POINT is, MARIO BAVA HAS DONE IT FIRST!
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