The film stars Shelley Winters as a mother so insanely over-protective of her grown son that she decides to make a deal with death by offering alternate victims, plucked from among her fellow tenants in a 1938 Italian apartment building.
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Bizarre recreation of the crimes committed by a female serial killer in 1939 Italy. As usual, Bolognini directs this drama with elegance but the odd proceedings detract from the cinematographic merits of the film. S.Winters is very good, yet the device of using men for female roles, to highlight the deranged world of a mother's overpossessive love for her beloved son, does not always work. Good, but flawed.
***1/2. Study of a serial killer italian-style. So it's shocking and funny in the same time. To emphasize Shelley Winters's madness, director Mauro Bolognini cast actors to play the female victims. Like Max von Sydow for instance. The movie has just been released in Blu-Ray. Strongly recommended.