Isaacs Picture Conclusions

GIALLORAMA! THE FIFTH CORD (1971) FOUR TOP HATS

Hey – how about this?? This movie was pretty good! Unlike some of the silliness and absurdity that comes with some of these things, this was a pretty meaty mystery / suspense that I really enjoyed. I would never claim that I know anything about these old timey directors and DPs and such because nobody tells me anything and I don’t know nuthin, but whoever this guy was, he really did a good job with this. I don’t know if my words can properly explain this but, the shots – or the set up of scenes – in this movie are, well, excellent and “full of stuff”. I downloaded some pictures to put out here with this, but I don’t know if I will do this justice.

Take, for example, this one. This is a lengthy scene where our protagonist (in the trench coat, fantastically mustachioed and lamb chopped) is interrogating a possible suspect in the killing of his own wife. We’ve got a very geometrically and OCD satisfying building in the background, with another building in its reflection and nice display of light and dark. The scene is very “full” – and awesome!

Or how about this wickedness with Andrea (Franco Nero) and the lovely Lu (Pamela Tiffin) having a talk in the car with those lights reflecting and the dark / light / black / white color scheme? The frame is full and nothing is left for my eye to wander. Very Fincher-y before Finch became a douche.

How about this where Andrea is having a talk with the police captain (or whatever) in the parking garage and the reflections on the top of that car? I love it! This is what I like to see!

This actually, almost, kinda give me a little jump when the kid turns around and sees that.

How about  that? A couple are getting ready to get their groove on at a live, private sex show! How exciting! The whole movie is shot like this and I really liked it. I think I liked the cinematography and the geometric eye candy more than the story, but the story and the acting is pretty, pretty good too. I think the only thing I could really be negative at with this is that it was dubbed (poorly for the matter) and this probably would have been a lot better in the original Italian. I would hate to watch it and have to read it though, because it would take my eyes off of what’s happening on screen, kind of like Pan’s Labyrinth – a fucking wonderful movie that I had to read, which doesn’t bother me, but I had to look away from the imagery, damn it.

So the story is this – we open to a figure, first person POV style walking through some sort of crowded lounge whispering about how he’s going to commit murder and kill someone and take their life and how good it will feel and all of that. we are then introduced to several characters: Andrea, Lu, a crippled woman (Rossella Falk), her husband Dr. Bini (Renato Romano), some sort of peevish nerd named Lubbock (Maurizio Bonuglia) and a couple of beuatiful Italian women that, honestly, I couldn’t really tell them apart or what their characters did since they both looked so similar: Ira von Fürstenberg and Silvia Monti – one of them seems to have some sort of romantic past with our lead and the other seems to be entangled in some sort of three way love affair, I mean, that’s what’s going on but I couldn’t tell who was who most of the time.

After the party Lubbock goes for a love torn walk and gets mugged in a tunnel! What! Andrea is drunk and holed up with Lu when he is called to go do some serious investigative reporting. He isn’t allowed to talk to the victim so he does some drinking and smoking and sleuthing on the sly and eventually, in a very good, very slow paced scene, the crippled wife of Dr. Bini gets strangled and thrown into a stair well – ending in a very well executed stunt. The next day, Viggo Mortensen’s Uncle Andrea is there with the cops as they are hauling the body off and they find a clue! A black glove with the thumb cut off of it! Holy shit!

Did the doctor kills his wife? Is Andrea involved in his black-out drunkenness? Soon he is fired from his job at the newspaper for doing something he shouldn’t. After he yells at the sickly old editor that I may have become a piece of shit, but you are what you were when you started, a bastard that sold his soul! the editor turns up dead! Another glove is found – this one with two digits missing! Before too long one of the women I can’t remember what she did is dead in a tub with a glove floating around in the water!! Then a hooker!! We know this person is going to kill again but who will it be?? What’s going on? Why is this so awesome??

The Fifth Cord is also known as The Black Night of the Ram (and something else I think) and features very little skin and basically no blood. Aside from all of the visuals I mentioned earlier, there’s some good acting but shitty dubbing. There’s action and mystery and long, tense scenes that really worked out well for me. I would totally recommend this if you’re in the mood for some 70s Italian action! And btw, I really liked the part where Andrea goes nuts and slaps around Lu’s brother for a good two or three minutes!

Well that’s it for a little bit, you lucky devils!! I hope you all have good and safe weekends!

P.S. – someone much wiser than me suggested I make a page dedicated to these Giallos (Gialli?) like I did with the other franchisey things I’ve done and I think that’s a great idea, thank you. I am kind of struggling with a name for the page other than the generic and bland GIALLO. My first alternative was THE ITALIAN STALLION(s) but I don’t think I like that (at all). I think I might go with GIALLO-O-RAMA but I would love any creative suggestions! 🙂

13 comments

  1. The cinematography in this does look pretty excellent. And I’ve found if you watch “Pan’s Labyrinth” 3 times or so, then the next time you don’t have to read and can just watch. 😉 I like Giallo-o-Rama btw.

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  2. theipc

    LOL you’re right, they just don’t make “drink straight from the bottle of J&B while you’re driving down the road” mystery movies any longer – I enjoyed making this post too – I will probably practice that going forward, unless it’s New York Ripper style… thanks!

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  3. this is fast becoming my favourite film blog. i love hearing about crazy looking movies i’ve never heard of. problem is you’re fast filling up my lovefilm list. i’ll never get through it at this rate! don’t fancy contributing a year’s payment for it, do you? 😉 keep up the good work!

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    • theipc

      THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!! That made my whole week! I wish I could wire you some money but I don’t have any : ( Thank you so much again!! Thanks for reading!

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