Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Movie Review: The Devil Has Seven Faces (1971)

The Devil Has Seven Faces
The Devil Has Seven Faces - Italian Giallo Film - Cover Image

Written by Tito Carpi and Osvaldo Civirani
Directed by Osvaldo Civirani

Carroll Baker...Julie Harrison
Stephen Boyd...Dave Barton
George Hilton...Tony Shane

Julie Harrison is a translator who finds herself in a bit of a pickle when some dangerous double-crossed jewel thieves mistake her for her devious identical twin sister Mary. After a failed kidnapping, Julie's new friends Dave Barton--a playboy lawyer--and Tony Shane--a playboy racecar driver--get quite intimately involved. But how long can the trio outrun their pursuers who have proved that they're quite willing to kill for what they want, and are more than willing to do so again?

The thieves, Julie and her friends, and the previous owner of the stolen jewel are all out to discover the truth, each for their own reasons. Who will find it first, and who's really the bad guy here?

This sleek and sexy crime drama looks and feels typical of its time and genre: convoluted and slow moving plot, multiple ambiguous characters and POVs, lush colors and stylistic sets, beautiful women in mod fashions and miniskirts, all set to deep instrumentals and a chanteuse-heavy soundtrack.

All this makes for good retro fun with just a tinge of sleaze, but unfortunately, except for a few false scares and a car chase (obviously injected only to speed up the film), there just aren't very many thrills along the way. There are, though, a number of plot-twists towards the end. That's the giallo, for you: they always begin charming, lose steam, and then redeem themselves in the end.

It was films like this that inspired Tarantino's Jackie Brown, so fans of this ilk may want to give it a go.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Il Diavolo a Sette Facce; The Devil With Seven Faces

1971
90 Minutes
Color
Italy
Italian (English Dubbed)

--J/Metro

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