THE CAT O’NINE TAILS
IL GATTO A NOVE CODE
1971, AGFA, 112 min, Italy/France/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

This second entry in Dario Argento’s “Animal Trilogy” found the young talent further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as master of the giallo. When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, a blind puzzle-maker (Karl Malden) overhears an attempt to blackmail an institute scientist shortly before the robbery; he teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo (James Franciscus) to crack the case. Soon the bodies pile up, and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives at risk. Worse still, the puzzle-maker’s niece (Cinzia De Carolis) is in the killer’s sights. Featuring another nerve-jangling score by the great Ennio Morricone, THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS remains one of Argento’s most suspenseful and underrated films.


THE SICILIAN CLAN
LE CLAN DES SICILIENS
1969, 20th Century Fox, 118 min, France/Italy, Dir: Henri Verneuil

Expatriate Sicilian mobster Jean Gabin and his family shelter homicidal, lone-wolf jewel thief Alain Delon after his daring escape from a prison van. Delon proposes a multimillion-dollar jewel heist to Gabin that is fraught with danger, but the semi-retired patriarch signs on when he decides it will allow him to retire to Sicily all the faster. But no one counts on dogged police inspector Lino Ventura (CLASSE TOUS RISQUES, SECOND BREATH) on Delon’s trail. Ventura is extra-surly from trying to kick cigarettes and channels all his frustrations into nabbing Delon and his accomplices. Ennio Morricone provides another memorable score.


THE CANTERBURY TALES
1971, Park Circus/MGM, 109 min, Italy/France, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

On a pilgrimage to Canterbury, a group of travelers agree to share stories to ease the journey – and we’re treated to a riotous carnival of lecherous old merchants, deceitful young wives, naked satyrs, houses of prostitution, a handsome devil in rent collector’s clothes and much more. With stunning production design by Dante Ferretti (GANGS OF NEW YORK) and a haunting score of period music selected by Pasolini and Ennio Morricone. Winner of the Golden Bear at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival. With Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Pasolini himself as Geoffrey Chaucer.


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