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Terror At The Opera 1988

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4.2 out of 5 stars (29) IMDb 7.1/10
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A Dario Argento horror along the lines of 'Phantom of the Opera'. Betty (Christina Marsillach), a young understudy at the opera house, finds herself in demand when the female lead in Verdi's Macbeth falls ill. Whilst on stage, her fears about the curse of Macbeth begin to ring true as a stagehand is murdered and several ravens used in the production are killed. Betty is then taken captive by the murderer, tied up, forced to have her eyes pinned open and then witness the murder of two other people. The police inspector assigned to the job, Santini (Urbano Barberini) realises that ravens never forget and releases the remaining birds so that they can find the murderer. This leads to a chain of gory events, eventually revealing who the killer is and what his connection with Betty is.

Starring:
Ian Charleson, Cristina Marsillach
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 47 minutes
Starring Ian Charleson, Cristina Marsillach, Urbano Barberini, Cristina Giachino, William McNamara
Director Dario Argento
Genres Horror
Studio ARROW FILMS
Rental release 24 March 2003
Main languages Italian
Subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Opera (also known as Terror At The Opera) was a notoriously difficult shoot for Argento, with a number of personal tragedies and professional setbacks befalling the film before it had even reached the production stage. It would also be something of a monument in his career; a return to form in the sense of it being the follow up to his much-criticised supernatural horror/thriller Phenomena, and his return to the giallo-style of filmmaking that he had earlier perfected with masterworks like Deep Red and Tenebrae. It was the third Argento film that I saw after later films, The Stendhal Syndrome and Trauma, neither of which left too much of an impression on me. Opera, on the other hand, was much more impressive, as it is the film of his later career that seems more indebted to the style and freedom of his earlier, more-groundbreaking works.
Though I've yet to see Sleepless and The Card Player, Opera remains, perhaps, the last truly definitive Argento thriller... with the usual giallo trademarks employed to a dizzying effect in a number of vicious, though no less elaborate, dramatic set-pieces. Admittedly, like much of Argento's work, Opera can occasionally seem like something of a throwaway... a lurid thriller, populated by lightweight, clichéd characters, over-the-top performances, and too much style-over-substance. However, one scratch beneath the surface reveals something deeper, with Argento once again playing with the self-reflexive notion of films about filmmaking; the idea of seeing and the audience's relationship to the perspective of his characters.
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By A Customer on 12 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
One of Argento's most dizzying works but also one of his most enjoyable. This being Argento's ninth giallo, he knew all the conventions inside out, so he plays with them mercilessly, using flashbacks, jump cuts, juxtapositions in a captivating way. The opening when the temperamental diva walks of the opera, is typical of the high style of the piece. The ending is, admittedly, a bit of a disappointment, but it's sweetened somewhat by the sly reference to Phenomena. Brutal, beautiful and daring, this is Argento at his best.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I did not pay very much money for this from Amazon. I think it was near to a fiver! Therefore it was an absolute bargain and I rate it highly for that reason alone.

The films themselves mainly represent Dario Argento's later period, and (with the possible exception of Terror at the Opera which was made in 1987 - a full ten years before the other films included in the boxset) represent a weaker output compared to his early works.

For those of you who are familiar with Argento's earlier classic films, and have an interest in pursuing his less well known works, then maybe this is for you, if you can obtain it cheaply. If you didn't like the films he's renowned for (like Suspiria) I would find it difficult to see how you would appreciate the films herein, as they are of a much lower appeal.

I would say buy it if it's cheap (as I did) as Opera is good. Avoid otherwise, unless you have a total interest in Argento films - enough to be a completest!
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Format: DVD
I bought this dvd a while back after watching Susperia and was not disapointed. Many people regard this as a lesser Argento work but don't let this put you off.
I don't want to spoil the ending too much but the main premise an understudy opera singer gets her chance after the lead soprano has an accident. The bad news is that she is being stalked and he kills people in front of her.
The ending will suprise most viewers and as I said before it's worth a look.
The extras aren't bad and there's English and Italian dubbing as well as subtitles.
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Format: DVD
if you are a fan of horror but get frustrated by the genres cliches and the lack of critical respect, argento is the dude to wheel out in its defence.

a huge fan of hitchcock and polanski (to whom this film owes a huge dent in particular) argento brings style, technique and unbelieavle suspense to the genre.

based on the story of the phantom of the opera but set in the modern day (well, 80's Italy at least), it follows a series of murders and the stalking of an opera diva

as with all argentos work, this is not about plot, but a series of awesome set piece murders, and this film contains his best. let me try to explain.....

the diva lives in an appartment, and argento goes to great lengths to get you familiar with the layout and where things are. this leads to a sense of being realxed and safe; you know where the phone is and how the security peephole on the front door works to which various people come and go

when the killer finally calls(spolier warning) he spooks the chick inside for a bit before finally ringing the doorbell again (just as the phone starts to ring). as she looks through the peephole shes looking down the barrel of a gun; cut to the outside of the flat where you see a sideshot of the gun; cut back inside to a sideshot of the head as the gun is fired; cut to the very far end of the corridor with the phone in front as the blood soaked bullet hits it and finally stops the damn thing rining - a phenomenal sequence
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