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1973, Paramount, 110 min, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

Director Nicolas Roeg’s atmospheric adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s story is a haunting meditation on the consequences of repressing traits inside us that could mean the difference between life and death. Antiquities restorer Donald Sutherland and wife Julie Christie, in mourning after the accidental drowning of their young daughter, journey to Venice during the off-season to help renovate a church. But their encounter with two strange sisters, one of whom is a blind clairvoyant, pulls them into shadowy back alleys and deserted canals and onto the radar of a warped serial killer terrorizing the city. A brilliant variation on Italy’s homegrown giallothriller genre then enjoying success in early 1970s European cinema.

1959, Warner Bros., 91 min, UK, USA, Dir: Robert Hamer

Director Robert Hamer and Gore Vidal adapted Daphne du Maurier’s novel for this intriguing mystery, and du Maurier herself suggested Alec Guinness for the dual lead roles of British teacher John Barratt and French nobleman Jacques De Gué, look-alikes who meet by chance and spend a night drinking together. When Barratt awakes, his passport is gone and he’s plunged into De Gué’s convoluted private life - which includes a wealthy wife (Irene Worth) and an imperious mother (Bette Davis). Guinness played multiple parts in Hamer’s KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS and, as in that earlier film, royal titles and murder figure into the plot.

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