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The Crimes of the Black Cat (1972)

Sette scialli di seta gialla (original title)
A blind pianist tries to figure out who is responsible for a string of murders using a black cat with its claws dipped in curare.


Sergio Pastore


Sandro Continenza (as Alessandro Continenza), Sergio Pastore | 1 more credit »


Cast overview:
Anthony Steffen ... Peter Oliver
Sylva Koscina ... Françoise Ballais
Giovanna Lenzi Giovanna Lenzi ... Susan Leclerc (as Jeannette Len)
Renato De Carmine Renato De Carmine ... Inspector Jansen
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Victor Morgan
Umberto Raho ... Burton
Annabella Incontrera ... Helga Schurn
Romano Malaspina Romano Malaspina ... Harry
Isabelle Marchall Isabelle Marchall ... Paola Whitney
Imelde Marani ... Harry's girlfriend
Liliana Pavlo Liliana Pavlo ... Wendy Marshall
Lorenzo Piani Lorenzo Piani ... Waiter in Hamburg (credit only)
Irio Fantini Irio Fantini ... (credit only)
Shirley Corrigan ... Margot Thornhill
Learn more

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A mysterious killer is murdering fashion models by using a black cat whose claws are dipped in curare. A composer, whose girlfriend was the first one to be killed, overhears a conversation by someone he believes may be the killer, but there's one complication--the composer is blind and couldn't see the suspected murderer. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 60802 delivered on 9-8-1972. See more »

User Reviews

Sure, blame the black cat, as always
8 January 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Cats, and particularly the black-colored ones, are quite popular animals to feature in horror movies. Mainly thanks to the influence of Edgar Allen Poe's legendary writings, but also because they're sinister and mysterious animals whose actions are largely uncontrollable. Particularly the Italian horror industry used a lot of (black) cats and the story lines often try to fool us into believing these vicious animals are responsible for the ongoing terror, even though there's always – duh – a human culprit behind it. Sergio Pastore's "Crimes of the Black Cat" is a very competent Giallo, perhaps a bit standard and obviously borrowing ideas from similar efforts, but nevertheless entertaining enough to please the majority of fans of this marvelous Italian horror sub genre. What story aspects are borrowed from other Giallo-titles? Well, the victims of the maniacal killer are nearly all gorgeous models working for the same fashion house, as it was the case in Mario Bava's "Blood & Black Lace"; generally considered as THE movie that started the whole Giallo-madness in 1964. Also, the male lead – who begins to investigate the murders on his own – is blind, like Karl Malden's character in Dario Argento's "The Cat O'Nine Tails". The most important elements in Sergio Pastore's script are original however, like the modus operandi used for the killings and the large amount of red herrings & convoluted plot twists when approaching the finale. The lifeless body of a young model is found in her dressing room. She seemly died of a sudden heart attack but closer investigation shows that the claw of a cat dripped in poison caused her premature death. Since the police don't seem to be in a hurry to find the person behind this fiendish murder, the girl's former boyfriend Peter (a blind pianist) starts his own search, assisted by his loyal butler and the murdered girl's roommate. They slowly unravel a whole criminal network involving adultery, blackmail and drug-addicted circus artists. "Crimes of the Black Cat" is reasonably well paced and features a satisfying amount of action and excitement. The first 15 minutes are rather tame, but this is widely compensated by the outrageous and suspense-laden climax. The cat-claw murders aren't very spectacular, but there's a truly sadistic and stomach-churning scene near the end in which a poor girl is stabbed to death in her, "Psycho"-style in her shower. This particular murder surely belongs in the top ten grossest Giallo-moments! Unlike other contemporary Giallo-highlights, the musical score is unmemorable and there isn't that much female nudity on display. Pastore's direction and the performances of the ensemble cast are just adequate without surpassing any exceptional boundaries. "Crimes of the Black Cat" perhaps shouldn't be the first film to watch when you're new to the Giallo-sub genre, but it's definitely a good film that I warmly recommend.

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Italy | Denmark



Release Date:

12 August 1972 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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