L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage)

1970

L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage)

Critics Consensus

Combining a deadly thriller plot with the stylized violence that would become his trademark, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage marked an impressive horror debut for Dario Argento.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27
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Movie Info

This trend-setting thriller put its director, Dario Argento, on the international map and began a flood of imitative mystery-horror hybrids which dominated Italian genre output in the early 1970s. Tony Musante, best known for the television series Toma, portrays an American who witnesses the murder of a woman at a trendy Rome art gallery. Before long, Musante finds himself targeted by a mysterious killer. Based on a story by Byron Edgar Wallace, Bird and hints at the flamboyance which would become Argento's trademark. This and Argento's subsequent two films Il Gatto a Nove Code and Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio were much less horror-oriented than his later work. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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Cast

Tony Musante
as Sam Dalmas
Eva Renzi
as Monica Ranieri
Mario Adorf
as Berto Consalvi
Dario Argento
as Black jacketed killer
Umberto Raho
as Ranieri
Pino Patti
as Faiena
Omar Bonaro
as Police Detective
Fulvio Mingozzi
as Police Detective
Bruno Erba
as Police Detective
Werner Peters
as Antique Dealer
Giovanni Di Benedetto
as Professor Renaldi
Reggie Nalder
as Yellow Slicker Assassin
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Critic Reviews for L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage)

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

  • It is as though The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is interrogating the different functions performed by graphic portrayals of murder (much like this film itself), and facing viewers with their own cathartic, and possibly dangerous, fears and desires.

    Feb 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Dario Argento's undistinguished Italian thriller was an unexpected hit in 1969, thanks largely, one suspects, to some violent scenes that were unusually graphic for their time.

    Mar 28, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Now king of the spaghetti slasher, Argento made his directorial debut with this tightly constructed thriller.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • [It] has the energy to support its elaborateness and the decency to display its devices with style. Something from each of its better models has stuck, and it is pleasant to rediscover old horrors in such handsome new décor.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Its scares are on a much more basic level than in, say, a thriller by Hitchcock. It works mostly by exploiting our fear of the dark.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Argento's scripting isn't always fluid, but he nevertheless manages to create a mystery that's genuinely compelling.

    Feb 19, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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