42nd Street Cinema

Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)

Aldo Lado's wonderful giallo titled Short Night of Glass Dolls.

Opening with a body being found, only this person isn't entirely dead, just paralyzed. This man is our main protagonist Gregory Moore, a reporter (Jean Sorel - Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)). Following his journey in the ambulance all the way to the local morgue, where he's put into 'cold storage'. So to pass the time he starts to think about how his beautiful girlfriend Mira mysteriously disappeared. Mira played by Barbara Bach of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) fame.

Interestingly, Short Night's narrative is split into two parts, the present tense; Greg in the morgue and the past tense; his memory, in which the majority of the story is told. Shortly after, in the past tense, we're introduced to Jessica (Ingrid Thulin), who is also a reporter and begins working with Gregory to unravel the mystery. Skipping back to the present we meet another of Gregory's friends Ivan, amorgue worker who notices that rigormortis hasn't set in on Greg's body and goes about attempting to revive him.

In my opinion this is an extraordinary giallo, it's missing savage and bloody deaths instead opting for greater character development that really ties in with the films tense and intelligent plot. Lado's pacing works brilliantly in conjunction with the plot. The way I interpreted it was that, the more Gregory remembers the more we learn, tying the audience directly to Greg. Ennio Morricone's soundtrack is beautifully suspenseful and suits film's pacing.

DVD: Anchorbay - The Giallo Collection
Run Time: 97 Mins
Extras: Strange Days of The Short Night - An all-new 11-minute interview with Director Aldo Lado, Theatrical Trailer and Aldo Lado Filmography.


Alex B. said...

Aldo Lado's best and most subtle work.
Amazing visuals. Lado's WHO SAW HER DIE? is a lot less impressive, just a standard giallo.
James, I love this blog and you seem to be reviewing
a lot of the movies I really care for.
So please tell me - where's the "follow" button?
Pardon for such a low-tech question, but I cannot locate it...

James said...

I've not seen Who Saw Her Die? I need to do a lot of catching up with the Italian circuit. Thanks for the kind comments Alex, the follow button should be located on the sidebar on the right.

Alex B. said...

Thanks a lot for pointing out that useful little button:)
Who Saw Her Die? is worth a look for the stunning cinematography and a nice turn by George Lazenby. But it's so cliched I can't bear it.

Aleata Illusion(GoreGoreDancer) said...

Hey James, I've given your blog the zombie rabbit award! http://aleataillusion.blogspot.com/2010/03/zombie-rabbit-award.html

Scare Sarah said...

Great place you got here!

I loved this film!

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

My all time favourite Italian giallo - I love the elements of political conspiracy. Both of Lado's gialli are deeply unsettling. Although not as impressive WHO SAW HER DIE? is no slouch either.

pharmacy escrow said...

This was one of the few movies that I really liked in the 70's and I found very captive by the main protagonist Gregory Moore, and I used to imitate him, of course I was a child

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