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Encyclopedia > Deep Red
Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)
Directed by Dario Argento
Produced by Salvatore Argento
Written by Dario Argento
Bernardino Zapponi
Starring David Hemmings
Daria Nicolodi
Gabriele Lavia
Macha Meril
Eros Pagni
Giuliana Calandra
Glauco Mauri
Clara Calamai
Piero Mazzinghi
Music by Goblin
Cinematography Luigi Kuveiller
Release date(s) 1975
Running time 126 min
98 min (cut version)
Country Italy
Language Italian (U.S. release dubbed into English)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Profondo Rosso (also known as Deep Red or The Hatchet Murders) is a 1975 giallo thriller film directed by Dario Argento and starring David Hemmings. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Dario Argento (born September 7, 1940) is an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter. ... Dario Argento (born September 7, 1940) is an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter. ... David Hemmings in Blowup David Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English movie actor and director, whose most famous role was the photographer in Michelangelo Antonionis Blowup in 1966 (opposite Vanessa Redgrave), one of the films that best represented the spirit of the 1960s. ... Daria Nicolodi is an Italian actress born on the 19th of June in Florence, Italy. ... Clara Calamai (Prato, September 7, 1909 - Rimini, September 21, 1998) was an Italian actress. ... Goblin are an Italian progressive rock band who are known for their soundtracks on Dario Argento films (e. ... S.S. Van Dines The Benson Murder Case, the first giallo ever published (1929). ... Thriller films are movies that primarily use action and suspense to engage the audience. ... Dario Argento (born September 7, 1940) is an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter. ... David Hemmings in Blowup David Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English movie actor and director, whose most famous role was the photographer in Michelangelo Antonionis Blowup in 1966 (opposite Vanessa Redgrave), one of the films that best represented the spirit of the 1960s. ...


Plot

Profondo Rosso follows music teacher Marcus Daly (Hemmings) as he investigates the violent murder of psychic medium Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril), which he witnesses in an apartment building. Other key characters are introduced early, including Daly’s occasional friend Carlo (Gabriele Lavia), Ulmann’s associate Dr. Giordani (Glauco Mauri) and reporter Gianna Brezzi, with whom Daly begins an affair. Brezzi’s character is played by Daria Nicolodi, who would later become Argento’s partner and the mother of his daughter Asia. Daria Nicolodi is an Italian actress born on the 19th of June in Florence, Italy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In his failed attempt at rescuing the medium, Daly realises he could have seen the killer’s face among a group of portraits on the wall of the victim’s apartment but is unable to find or recognise it when the police arrive. Later in the film, he also initially overlooks another clue that leads him to discover a mouldering corpse walled up in a derelict house. In typical Argento fashion, one murder leads to a string of others as Daly’s obsession with this vital clue that he fails to understand puts his life and those of everyone he comes into contact with in danger. This inability of a character to interpret or comprehend what he has seen is a common theme in Argento’s films and was used repeatedly in Tenebrae. Tenebrae (also known as Tenebre) is a 1982 Italian horror thriller film written and directed by Dario Argento. ...


The killing of Helga Ulmann is prefaced by a child’s doggerel tune, the same piece that accompanies the film’s opening sequence in which two shadowy figures struggle until one of them is stabbed to death. The music serves as the murderer’s calling card. When Daly hears it in his own apartment shortly after becoming involved in the case he is able to foil his attacker. Later, he plays the tune to Giordani, a psychiatrist, who theorizes that the music is important because it probably played an integral part in a traumatic event in the killer's past. The doctor’s theory is of course correct, as the identity of the killer is finally revealed as Carlo’s insane mother Martha (Clara Calamai). When Carlo was still a child, he watched as she murdered her husband when he tried to have her committed, then entomb his body in a room of their house. Daly’s discovery of the corpse is one of the film’s set-pieces. Clara Calamai (Prato, September 7, 1909 - Rimini, September 21, 1998) was an Italian actress. ...


Argento’s films are known for such elaborate set-pieces of violence and suspense, with meticulous build-up and a visceral study of the mechanics of killing. The murder scenes are generally quite extended: in this film, a female author is stabbed in the spine, then dragged into a bathroom and drowned in a bath filled with scaldingly hot water. Not long afterward, the psychiatrist has his face bashed against a wall, a mantelpiece and a desk before he is finally dispatched with a large knife. The preface to this scene is the movie's signature sequence and possibly its most tension-filled moment. The doctor, alone in his office, is viewed through a window as if being watched, the jarring soundtrack reaches a crescendo and then, when the killer would be expected to burst upon him he is instead accosted by a large doll that approaches him menacingly from the shadows, apparently of its own free will. While Giordani quickly destroys it, the doll is in fact the murderess' calling card and she appears moments later from behind a curtain.


Profondo Rosso is laden with minor details that presage later events. The bathtub murder is foreshadowed by an earlier scene when Daly is lightly scalded by an espresso machine; similarly, Daly explains to Gianni that his psychiatrist once explained that his piano playing is symbolic of him bashing his father’s teeth in, and later in the film Giordani suffers exactly that fate. A child’s doll hanging from a noose foretells Martha’s demise at the end of the film, when a heavy neckchain she is wearing becomes entangled in the bars of an elevator that then ascends, lifting her into the air until she is decapitated. The film also marks the introduction of many of Argento's key hallmarks: discordant soundtracks, odd angles, rolling cameras and various lighting techniques.


External links

  • All Movie Guide: Deep Red
  • IMDB: Deep Red
  • Contamination: article on Deep Red and Freud's "Uncanny"

  Results from FactBites:
 
DVD Verdict Review - Deep Red (4935 words)
Profondo Rosso, otherwise known as Deep Red, would mark the true origins of his style and the sense of horror that would herald and haunt Argento the rest of his career.
Deep Red may be notorious for being his most outlandish and over-the-top thriller (frankly, Opera deserves that title more than this film), but it is also known as his one movie that has been consistently butchered by reedits.
Deep Red was their first exercise together in creating tone and mood for a movie, and Argento plays them, and they he, magnificently.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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