Giallo (1934)

Based on the Edgar Wallace mystery ‘The Man Who Changed His Name’, the plot centres on the recently-married young wife of a wealthy aristocrat who gradually becomes convinced that her new husband is in fact a coldblooded murderer hiding behind a false identity.

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An early sound comedy-thriller from Mario Camerini clearly playing on the success of the ‘Giallo Mondadori’ series of novels which were (and still are…) sold in newsstands across the country. Launched in 1929, these mystery novels, or whodunits, distinguished themselves with their yellow (giallo) covers and typically consisted of translations of famous works by authors like Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace, or by Italian writers masquerading under English sounding pseudonyms – a questionable marketing technique which would re-emerge some decades later when attempting to export Italian films to overseas markets.

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Actor Sandro Ruffini who plays the husband appeared in two more gialli, Amleto Palermi’s ‘Il Treno del 21,15’ (1933) and Giacomo Gentilomo’s ‘Brivido’ (1941)

Assistant director Mario Soldati went on to mentor director Marino Girolami during the 1940s.

Russian born actress Assia Noris, who also worked prolifically with Soldati in the same period, was briefly married to director Camerini and they collaborated on a number of films throughout the decade.

 

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