Starring Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Eva Renzi, Mario Adorf, Enrico Maria Salerno
(7-Very Good Film)
Surprising. Striking. Lurid.
An American tourist, Sam (Musante), in Italy, witnesses a near fatal attack on a woman in an art gallery, but failed to get a clear look at the would-be assassin. Local police believe the attack is part of a string of recent murders, and hold Sam as a key witness, hoping that he’ll recall some important detail that will lead to the killer. Director, Argento, works almost exclusively in this genre, with several variations of this same plot. His talent lies in his staging, framing, and elegant camera movement, which is on full display in this, his debut. Incredible mise en scène. Most notably in the key early scene in which Sam witnesses the attack, with its snow white interior, wall of glass, and the night time merging to delirious effect. Dialogue, acting, and character development are of little importance in his films. I will say The Bird with the Crystal Plumage offers a solid mystery plot with an excellent conclusion.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-