Nine Nights of Argento #1 – The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

Bird2three-stars15I will be watching Dario Argento‘s first nine films (not counting The Five Days, which is currently unavailable in the US), from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage to Opera.

For all its quirks, I was surprised to find Argento’s first film to be a pretty straight-forward police procedural. An American in Italy happens to witness an attempted murder at an art gallery and colludes with the authorities to bring the killer to justice. Along the way, he brushes shoulders with all kinds of wild characters, including a gay antiques dealer, a cat-eating painter, and a boxing club assassin.

There’s some cool set pieces here and there– mostly involving the protagonist getting trapped in goofy art installations– but I’d have to say I was pretty underwhelmed. When I think of Giallo, I think of unrestrained blood-letting and insanity, whereas Argento’s debut feels rather tame.



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Categories: Dario Argento, Director Spotlight, Features, Reviews


  1. Another Nine Nights of Argento #9 – “Pelts” (2006) | - November 6, 2015

    […] 8. THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970)- Vintage Argento with an unusually comprehensible storyline. Not much gore, but plenty of suspense and style. […]

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