Forbidden Photos of A Lady Above Suspicion, The / Le foto proibite di una signora per bene (1970)

3.0 out of 5

Dagmar Lassander is Minou, a chronic drinker and tranquilizer abuser, who is faithfully married to a businessman, Peter. She is blackmailed into having a sexual affair with a stranger, after he accuses Peter of being a murderer and threatens to send evidence to the police. She unwillingly participates but is further blackmailed by photos of their sexual encounter. No one seems to believe her story. Are these events all fantasies in Minou’s mind or is her life in danger?

Luciano Ercoli’s directorial debut is more of a psychological suspense thriller than a giallo. The murders are few and the pacing is slow, representing Minou’s drugged out mindset. A pervading feeling of paranoia and encroaching insanity mixes with eroticism, creating a unique mood.

The look of the film is stunning and incorporates lighting and shadow to great effect, with excellent use of composition. Ennio Morricone’s impressive musical score includes vocals by Edda Dell'Orso, and fluctuates between suspense and carefree jazz/pop.

Lassander is convincing as the fragile and repressed Minou, while Susan Scott is perfect as the sexually-liberated Dominique, Minou’s supportive friend. Simón Andreu is suitably slimy as the perverted blackmailer. Scott and Andreu would later star in Ercoli’s next two gialli.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics