Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cat O' Nine Tails

I'm watching the Naked City TV series at the moment and today seemed as good a time as any to revisit Cat O' Nine Tails, starring a well-tanned James Franciscus. I must admit, about 70min into Argento's film the whys and wherefores of the plot had well and truly slipped thru my fingers, but even on cruise control, Cat O' Nine Tails still delights - Erico Menczer's 'scope photography (looking especially fresh courtesy of Blue Underground's BR), Franco Fraticelli's expert cutting, Morricone's modernist score, and all of served with a dash of ghoulish humor - I must presume the quick shot of the gravestone bearing the name "Dario" was Argento's own Hitchcockian cameo. I thought the XXY mcguffin was interesting and in a way forges a tenuous link to Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (also from 1971) in that both films kicked around ideas about criminal behavior aversion techniques. I took a listen to Franciscus' 8min radio interview on the BU disc and he makes an amusing slip, referring to Argento's debut as The Girl With the Crystal Plumage...

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