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Girl Who Knew Too Much
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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.Read more ›
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
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 ...".Read more ›
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!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This early giallo is high on style and athmosphere and one can easily see how Bava influenced Dario Argento. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by O. B. Tryggvason
This is not a horror film even though it was once shown in America as "The Evil Eye". Instead, it's a very tame little mystery with Bava's giallo atmosphere and little else. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2002 by Mark Norvell
While it certainly isn't MARIO BAVA at his best, THE GIRL WHO KNEW TO MUCH is a stylish and unusual thriller which pre-dates BLOOD AND BLACK LACE as one of the earliest examples of... Read morePublished on March 5 2002 by Mr P. D. Kinnear
This is a highly entertaining, suspensful film which proved Mario Bava being equally effective in a modern setting as well as in a period setting. Read morePublished on April 20 2001 by John Peterson
In my humble opinion, a movie like Mario Bava's THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH has a lot more cinematographical value than the majority of today movie productions. Read morePublished on April 18 2001 by Daniel S.
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