You’ve probably noticed I rather like Dario Argento films having reviewed pretty much all of the available Blu-ray’s. Well the one I hadn’t seen was Argento’s very first film but luckily for me Arrow Video has recently released it sporting a new 4K restoration on Blu-ray. So without further ado here’s my The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray Review.
- The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray Review (1970)
- Running Time: 97 Mins
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 2 (Dual Release Bluray/DVD)
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 19 June 2017
When Sam, an American writer living in Italy stumbles across a women being attacked in an art gallery late at night he finds himself powerless to intervene. He manages to raise the alarm but by the time the police arrive the attacker has fled into the night leaving only the apparent victim and Sam.
The police insist that Sam remain in Italy and help them with the investigation even pushing Sam into starting his own investigation. But what could be the reason for the police’s insistence? Well there have been several other murders fitting the same pattern.
What will Sam find as he pieces together all the previous murders? I’ll let you find that out for yourself.
Style / Direction
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage marks Dario Argento’s directorial debut and you can see some of the style that he later became famous for in this film. Certain camera shots such as the aerial view are used, you will notice these types of shots are the beginnings of what would become his unique style.
Written & Directed by Dario Argento with the cinematography being handled by Vittorio Storaro.
Music / Audio Effects
Ennio Morricone provides the score and it works rather well for the giallo/thriller genre. It creates plenty of tension and has a bit of a hook. It’s not one of Morricone’s best but then he has done some truly outstanding work.
Acting / Characters
Decent acting without any real standout performers. It’s more a case of getting the job done rather than anything else.
- Hammer House of Horror The Complete Series releases on Blu-ray
- The Howling releases on Blu-ray in the UK
- Blu-ray Release Dates slip including the Hammer Horror Boxset
- Stephen King’s Carrie on Blu-ray (4K restoration) in December
- Arrow Video to release The Thing Blu-ray in November
Conclusion – The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Film Review
Having never seen the film before I was keen to see Argento’s first directorial outing. To be fair The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is my least favourite of the Argento films I’ve seen. That said you can see a clear progression in his work with The Cat o’ Nine Tails coming next followed by Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Those two films are generally better but maybe because I prefer their stories.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage’s story is not as entertaining or engaging as those films just mentioned. Maybe that’s the real issue I have and where my slight disappointment stems from. The film also seems to struggle a little with pacing and seemed to drag in places more than it maybe should.
With all that said it’s certainly not a bad film and I’m sure Argento learnt a lot from writing and directing it.
So should you bother with this one? Well if you are a Dario Argento fan or merely a film buff the answer is an emphatic yes. You can see many of the elements that would later define his career being put into place. This may not be Argento at his very best but does show just how he quickly learnt from any mistakes made on this picture by correcting them in his next one..
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray Review
Released by Arrow Video it’s time to discuss the picture quality and I have good news. This version is the brand new 4K restored one and it looks flawless. Perfect picture quality in fact with no dirt marks or speckles anywhere to be found.
This is a great example of why restoring films and releasing them on Blu-ray can really show them off the way the filmmakers intended, excellent job!
And so to the extras and Arrow video usually have some truly outstanding extras and that trend continues here. First off you get the reversible sleeve art that Arrow have become renown or plus 6 lobby cards, poster and a 60 page booklet. Next are the bonus disc extras and again there are plenty to keep you going for some time.
- Audio Commentary by Troy Howarth
- Black Gloves & Screaming Minis – Critic Kat Ellinger (32 mins)
- The Power of Perception (21 mins)
- Dario Argento Interview (31 mins)
- Actor Gildo Di Marco interview (22 mins)
- Archival interview with actor Eva Renzi (11 mins)
- Original Italian & International Trailers
- 6 Lobby Cards
- Reversible Sleeve
- 60 Page Booklet
On to my movie rating for The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
- Movie Rating: WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: PERFECT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) is a limited edition so obtaining a copy of this cult film on Blu-ray will prove to be rather difficult. Hopefully Arrow Video will release a further run or a standard version as most copies online are selling for well over they original price.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
If you like my The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- Deep Red (1975)
- Inferno (1980)
- Four Flies On Grey Velvet Blu-ray (1971)
- Suspiria (1977)
- Tenebrae (1982)
- The Cat O’Nine Tails Blu-ray (1971)
- Night Train Murders (1975)
So that’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray Review (1970)
Director(s): Dario Argento
Actor(s): Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Giallo
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Argento’s directorial debut explores the giallo genre that he would later come to define