Who Saw Her Die? (1972)

I’ve complained about it before and I’m going to do it again: I don’t understand why companies like Blue Underground go to the trouble of saving these European genre films, to the effort of presenting them uncut in better visual elements than have probably been used on home video before, but then don’t give you the option of the original non-English soundtrack with subtitles. (I know BU do it some times, but not often enough.) This is a film where the English dub was more than usually distracting. The person dubbing Nicolette Elmi, the child who gets killed, is one thing, sounding a few years too old (I read that it’s the same voice artist who did Bob in The House by the Cemetery, which kind of casts THAT film in an interesting light). But the real problem is star James Bond… er, George Lazenby. I mean, really, if I have to watch a performance by him where he’s not using his own voice, I’d rather hear the Italian dub rather than whoever’s ill-fitting American accent that was… On the whole I found this rather less engaging than last night’s film—although the dubbing really didn’t help—and the solution to the mystery didn’t really come as a surprise. That said, as the review I linked to above notes, in the early 70s the revelation would’ve been considered far more shocking (and the film apparently did have censorship issues in Italy as a result), and it’s probably only in more recent times that we’d assume the killer to be who he turns out to be. Ennio Morricone comes through again with a terrific and well-utilised score (the children’s chorus is creepy as hell), and there’s some really good scenic photography of Venice, where the film is set, but on the whole I wasn’t hugely wrapped up in it.

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