Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

"He's crazy. He doesn't think like other people. There's no telling what he'll do next."

Minou (Dagmar Lassander) is a bored housewife who finds herself entangled in a web of sex and violence. While taking a nighttime walk on the beach, she is attacked by a stranger (Simon Andreu) who tells her that her husband Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi) is a murderer. He lets her go untouched, but threatens to release the evidence against Peter if she doesn't meet him at his apartment. It's not money that he wants, but rather Minou's body. After things get all Fifty Shades of Grey, the Blackmailer continues to torment Minou and she turns to her best friend, Dominique (Susan Scott) for advice. She tells her husband the truth and, bringing in the police, they find that there's no evidence to back up her story. Is Minou going crazy? Is Peter really a murderer? What is it that the Blackmailer really wants?

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion is an unusual giallo in that the sexy scenes are used as an essential part of the plot, rather than as a break from the main action. Also, instead of a series of murders, the main action focuses on the mystery behind a single killing, which happens before the action of the movie even starts. Still, even though this is the least-trashy of Luciano Ercoli's gialli, it is the most coherent and has one of the best-written screenplays.

  • When Minou enters the Blackmailer's apartment for the first time, there are plaster hand sculptures on the walls and a velvet curtain opens to a sensuous atmosphere. This scene is shot as an homage to Jean Cocteau's 1946 fantasy La Belle et La Bete, where the beauty first nervously enters the Beast's enchanted castle.
  • It's not clear where the film takes place, but they use American dollars.
  • The characters' alcohol consumption in this film is absolutely staggering. Try to keep up and you'll be floored halfway through.
  • Enjoy another great score by Ennio Morricone.
  • Minou's phone is white with a red dial. This does not qualify as a red phone.
What the Hell am I Watching?

Shall we talk about the soup-eating scene?  For a full minute, Minou, Peter, and Dominique sit around a table, silently eating soup and staring at each other. The camera pans in, close up, over and over as each character lifts the spoon from the bowl to their mouths. Over this, we hear ominous echoes of the Blackmailer's conversation with Minou.

Minou could have a pet cat like every other giallo character, but they decided to switch things up and give her a turtle. A turtle that roams freely around the house.

Dominique is totally into porn. Or, as she calls it, "erotic art from Copenhagen."

Speaking of, Dominique is one of my all-time favorite giallo characters. She's a strong, independent, liberated woman who prowls like an alley cat and takes what she wants. She's like a red-headed Samantha Jones. Susan Scott has played aggressive women in other movies, but there's always an element of tragic victimhood involved. Here, as the sassy sidekick, she really shines.

Fashion Moment

Homygod, you guys. Elton John had a yard sale.

Honestly, though, all the fashions in this movie are crazy.  In just about every scene you'll find yourself asking "what is she wearing?!"

1 comment:

  1. Not the best giallo I've ever seen bit worth a rent just to see the fashions and hairdos. Lady Gaga would be proud