The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) Mario Bava

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963)
aka La ragazza che sapeva troppo
Genre: Giallo
Country: Italy | Director: Mario Bava
Language: Italian | Subtitles: English (Hardcoded)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.66:1 | Length: 85mn
Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 672x416 - 25fps - 1.37gb

Includes Audio Commentary in English with Tim Lucas
(Second Audio Track)

Nora is a young tourist traveling through Rome which takes a sudden turn when she witnesses a murder by a serial killer that the police have sought for years for the so-called Alphabet Killings, and Nora soon finds herself in way-over-her-head trouble when the police want her cooperation to catch the killer while the mystery killer soon targets her for his next victim.

Mario Bava has made a lot of great movies, many of which have had an enormous effect on cinema - and this movie is certainly one of those. The Girl Who Knew Too Much was the inspiration for the entire Giallo sub-genre, and it also marks one of Bava's very best successes. Mario Bava is probably most famous for his vibrant use of colour and picturesque scene setting ability, and while this film doesn't have any colour; just like with Black Sunday before it; lack of colour hasn't stopped Bava from creating a wonderfully beautiful film. The visuals in the movie are amazingly fluid, and Bava's ability to capture scenes is shown brilliantly. The black and white atmosphere also allows the great director to implement a lovely foreboding atmosphere into the plot and, to be honest, this movie is all the better for NOT having colour. As this is the film that laid down the blueprint for the Giallo sub-genre, it's plot is typically bare bones. We follow an American tourist called Nora Davis that has landed in Rome and quickly witnesses a murder. It isn't long before she realises that this murderer kills women in alphabetical order according to their last name...and 'C' has just gone.

The biggest name in the cast is definitely John Saxon. This cult favourite has been in a number Italian horror films; and he delivers a fine performance here too. Letícia Román takes the lead role, and fits it perfectly. She's elegant enough to be vulnerable; but tough enough for us to believe that she'd try and solve the crime herself. The title of the film is an obvious homage to Hitchcock, but Bava's real inspiration for the movie is, obviously, the pulp Italian mystery books ('Giallo'). The voice over that runs throughout the film helps to make the plotting feel more like we're reading a book, as the narrator gives us insight into the lead character. Bava skilfully handles the plot, as he builds up his red herrings enough to give the audience suspicions; but not so much that they're "too obvious". The climax to the mystery does become a bit too apparent as we near the end, however, and it's somewhat unlikely; but Italian horror isn't usually known for making sense and being realistic, so the cult fan will forgive this. I love a good Giallo, and this is a very good one. On the whole; The Girl Who Knew Too Much is highly recommended to the cult horror fan!

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