La Ragazza Dal Pigiama Giallo (1977)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Giallo  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - Italy, Spain  |  
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This rather unorthodox giallo might disappoint fans who want the usual genre staples but offers plenty of surprises on its own terms. Fans expecting an array of murders and plot twists will likely be disappointed by The Pyjama Girl Case as this is a subtle film more interested in dialogue and character than thrills. Thankfully, it is anchored by strong performances: Ray Milland is effortlessly convincing as the world weary detective, Dalila Di Lazzaro is both alluring and mysterious as the inscrutable leading lady and Michele Placido is surprisingly affecting as the most naïve and well-meaning of her suitors. It also benefits from stylish direction by Flavio Mogherini, who makes dazzling use of the Australian locations and a hypnotic electronic score by Riz Ortolani to create an atmosphere that is by turns seductive and creepy. Best of all, the final third of the film sets the story on its ear by incorporating a narrative shift that ties up all its loose ends in a dazzling style, building to surprisingly emotional and tragic finale. In short, The Pyjama Girl Case is far from the typical bill of fare for fans of Italian thrillers but this is exactly what might make it appealing for other kinds of foreign film fans.