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Opera (1987)

Cast: Christina Marsillach, Christina Marsillach, Urbano Barberini, more...
Director: Dario Argento, Dario Argento
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Horror, Italian Horror, Giallo
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
The polar-opposite worlds of opera and horror collide in this gory giallo film from director Dario Argento. Christina Marsillach (Tom Hanks' romantic interest in Every Time We Say Goodbye) stars as Betty, a beautiful understudy who gets an unlikely break to play the female lead in a contemporary opera of Verdi's Macbeth. Her fear of Macbeth's notorious curse proves to have foundation when a psychopath with a strange connection to Betty murders a stage hand in the midst of her debut and later kills several ravens being used in the opera. Characters introduced at this point who could be the killer include: the show's director, Marco (Ian Charleson); Betty's publicist, Mira (Daria Nicolodi); and the police inspector, Alan Santini (Urbano Barberini). The middle third of the film is devoted to the killer's bloody work which serves to torment Betty. The madman binds her and tapes a row of tiny needles beneath her eyes so that she is forced to watch him butcher a young stage manager and a costume designer, among others. With the police investigation going nowhere and the killer zeroing in on Betty's death, Marco decides to enact his own plan to stop the madman; he releases the ravens (apparently, they always remember their enemies) during a performance. The birds circle wildly before attacking the killer and plucking one of his eyeballs out. He absconds with Betty, but dies in a fire after revealing his demented motivation and his connection to the young singer. A final scene set in the Swiss mountains provides a couple of final shocks. ~ Patrick Legare, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Opera (1987)
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6.94 (99 votes)
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Opera (Bonus Disc) (1987)
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6.26 (19 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

Slopera by talltale December 1, 2004 - 6:13 AM PST
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2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Dario Argento at his nitwit worst can be found in OPERA, a slash-fest from the late 80s, now released on dvd. It's lighter than usual on this "cult" director's hallmark grizzly-killing set pieces (only three--maybe four--with two of these rather staid stabbings) but heavy, heavy, heavy on his typical lack of logic or any behavior that's remotely human. (The gimmick here is that the killer forces the heroine to watch.) Argento sometimes approaches camp; with "Opera" he defines it and then goes one step further to annihilate it. Stupid does not begin to describe this mess. But then again, you'll probably laugh hard enough to lift it a notch or two in the rating scale. As usual, there's lots of pretty scenery--interior, exterior, urban and country. While the dubbing is godawful, it was probably a wise choice. Seeing this loony-tune dialog written out in subtitled format might have induced death-by-guffaw. Nuttiest moment: a single raven flying around the opera house manages to reduce the entire audience to screaming mimis. (By the way, I am a long-time Argento fan--but one who finds it hard to excuse a loser like this.)

Not a Good Night at the Opera by carlykristen September 30, 2003 - 1:54 PM PDT
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
This is not one of Dario's best. Opera was originally a good idea, but was not followed through smoothly. Taping needles under a girl's eyelids? That is definitely unique, but the way the scenes pan out, it is almost laughable. The ending was little odd, maybe even hurried on Dario's part. I do have to say that Dario fans must see the Bullet-through-the door scene. Sounds boring, but it was a cool effect. For any of you who want a good slasher flick, try Deep Red instead.

Giallo master Argento has beat this genre piece into the ground. by minordv8 February 4, 2003 - 2:10 PM PST
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
My admiration for Argento began when I first caught Cat-o-nine tales on cable in the late eighties. It wasnt until I moved up to SF from Bakersfield that I was able to catch classics like Deep Red and Suspiria. Opera has some of the elements that made Argentos film interesting such as elaborate set designs, the use of heavy color saturated lighting effects, and of course gore thats always just a bit sexual. But Opera just doesnt have a very well developed story and some of the lead characters are so poorly acted that I really lost interest in the film half way through. For Argento fans I think the film is worth seeing once. The short documentary on the film thats part of the special features is actually more interesting than the film. )Daria Nicolodi rant about how much her ex-husband movies sucks is a great bit of interviewing.) I definitely won,t be adding it to my collection of Gaillo DVDs.

Favorite scenes:
Cutting open the costume girl to get at the evidence that she swallowed.
Bullet to Daria head through the door. (I wonder if Argento still performs as the hands of his killers!?)

Movies w/ similar themes:
Tenebre
Trauma
Phantom of the Opera (Pugh!)

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