During the ’60s and ’70s a weird and wonderfully strange type of film began do dominate Italian cinema. Giallo films are epitomised by a certain strangeness and a mix of crime, mystery, exploitation and horror elements. Suspiria is the finest example of the sub-genre and Dario Argento its chief exponent. Along with Suspiria, some of the greatest giallo films include Deep Red, The Black Belly of the Tarantula, Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Blood and Black Lace. Mario Brava’s The Girl Who New Too Much was the first giallo film and the last movie he directed in black and white.
Nora (Letícia Román) arrives in Rome on holiday to visit her elderly aunt who is unwell and being treated by Dr. Marcello Bassi (John Saxon). When she passes away on the first night, Nora walks to the hospital to tell Marcello but is mugged and bangs her head. When she awakens Nora sees a man pull a dagger from a dead woman’s back, but when she reports it to the police they don’t believe her. After bumping into her aunt’s friend Laura Torrani (Valentina Cortese), who offers Nora the use of her how whilst away on Vacation, she starts to investigate the murder herself with the help of Marcello.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a compelling and tense film, owing much of a debt to Hitchcock. Whilst it doesn’t contain many of the horror elements prevalent in later giallo films, it contains the mystery, suspense and crime elements you’d expect. It feels like an updated and inverted version of Film Noir. Brava’s film was re-cut and edited under the title of Evil Eye for the American market. This is also included but I wouldn’t recommend it. The re-scoring alone is enough to put you off.
Special Edition Contents
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film: The Girl Who Knew Too Much – the original Italian version; and Evil Eye – the re-edited and re-scored US version prepared by American International Pictures
Original uncompressed 2.0 mono PCM audio for both versions
Optional English subtitles for The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for Evil Eye
Audio commentary by Mario Bava’s biographer Tim Lucas
Introduction by writer and critic Alan Jones
All About the Girl – Filmmakers Luigi Cozzi (The Killer Must Kill Again) and Richard Stanley (Dust Devil), alongside authors Alan Jones (Profondo Argento) and Mikel Koven (La Dolce Morte) reflect on Mario Bava’s classic giallo
Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kier-La Janisse
The Girl Who Knew Too Much is released on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Films and is out today.