Silvia, a singer and dancer, is a member of an overworked company that puts on shows in a theme park. She welcomes the advances of a young musician called Roberto but one day, following an accident, Silvia meets a certain Massimi, an understanding sort who, upon hearing her sing, convinces her to swap the theme park for an elegant night club. Massimi’s advances aren’t without motive, he has various criminal schemes in mind and Silvia will help him, without knowing it, put them in motion. The young woman attracts the attention of one of the regulars, the rich businessman Ferrari, who falls head over heels in love with her. On Massimi’s instructions she invites him to spend an evening at the theme park but, after having left her, he is attacked, robbed and wounded by Massimi’s henchmen. The next day Silvia is arrested by the police who believe she may have played a part in it. Released following Roberto’s intervention, she turns to Massimi who coldly sends her away. Alone, Massimi is robbed and killed by a past lover. Silvia is arrested again and accused of his murder but Roberto, working with the police, manages to prove her innocence. After much suffering the two youths are finally reunited.
Playing out like many other thrillers produced in Italy from the silent era to modern day, Renato Polselli’s ‘Delitto al Luna Park’(Lit. Murder in the Theme Park) has sometimes been cited as one of the first ‘gialli’ produced in Italy, although that crown also falls on Vittorio Salerno’s ‘Libido’ or Mario Bava’s ‘The Girl Who Knew Too Much’ depending on which reference book you’re reading. In truth, it’s just one of many black and white Italian thrillers, many of which are documented here on this blog and are sadly almost impossible to track down in the digital age. ‘Delitto al Luna Park’ is no exception, 16mm prints have been screened at least twice in the last 20 years at film festivals in Italy and a print is almost certainly deposited in one of the national archives. It has never been released on VHS, DVD, etc… and no obvious sightings on television past or present.
Update: Screened at the Cinema Trevi, Rome – 19/04/2018. Running time: (approx) 1h 11m – Print condition was very good with no obvious damage – on loan from DW Griffiths Archive.
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