Puzzle (L'uomo senza memoria, 1974)

US VCI Entertainment 2021 Blu-ray edition


Text 2021-10-14


I had never heard about this obscure giallo but after watching it i found it to be a really good one. "Puzzle" is a crime mystery, an amnesia
thriller and also some sort of a marriage drama where not just Senta Berger acts fine but also Luc Merenda is pretty good and, for once, the
Kid role in the movie, Duilio Cruciani as Luca also gives a great special performance.
The soundtrack by Gianni Ferrio was nice also and the theme song sung by Rossella made an impression too. What a voice she had.

Yes, i'm very pleased as you can see. A forgotten Giallo released on bluray, and directed by a genre quality name as Duccio Tessari and with
nice acting performances - please bring these gems on. I watched this giallo along with another of the genre gems - Sergio Pastore's "The
Crimes of the Black Cat" from 1972, also a delightful bluray release of an obscure film.
Senta Berger ? I don't know if i've ever seen her in a film before, but i knew she was some sort of Euro 1960's-70's sexy actress á la Ursula
Andress. Berger was very fine in this role as Sara Walden and some day later i saw her in the 1967 crime thriller "Diaboliquement votre"
by Julian Duvivier and with Alain Delon, and she was very fine there too (i've heard it can be seen on Netflix now).
Those amazing Euro actresses from the Golden Era of European Continental film, as i.a. Ursula Andress, Senta Berger and Romy Schneider.

Senta Berger, Austrian actress born 1941 in a pic from 1967 "Diaboliquement votre" - please note: NOT from "Puzzle"

The film have had a 4K restoration from a 35 mm archival print says VCI Entertainment on the bluray sleeve, and that's fine, but even though
there are too many too dark scenes and the colors are a bit faded. Maybe the archival print source had some problems ? But it has to do.

The film has a great confusing start to it (and i love that) when a man named Peter Smith (Luc Merenda) visits a London Psychiatrist. He woke
up in a clinic 8 months ago after having a car crash and he can't remember anything of what happened before that, of his earlier life.
A man, Philip, turns up at Peter's apartment and calls him Ted, knocks him down and tells him that he's Ted Walden, that he's married to an
American woman and that he lives in Portofino, Italy. When the man is about to rough Peter or Ted up he's shot in the back by a sniper through
the window. A bewildered Peter/Ted wonders WTF is going on ? His passport says he's Peter Smith. Then he gets a telegram from someone
called Sara who informs him about his ticket home.

textsheet

In Italy Sara Walden (Senta Berger) is about to meet her since 8 months disappeared husband at the train station. She has been very unhappy
that he left her without any explanation and she's unsure of if she wants him back or not. She works as a swim teacher for kids and her colleague
and maybe boyfriend Reinhardt (Umberto Orsini) has helped and courted her (a gorgeous woman like that, no surprise). She lives with her cute
dachshund Whiskey and she takes care of the neighbour kid, Luca .... and she's NOT the one who sent the telegram to Ted in London.

At the train-station she recognizes Ted but he has no idea of what his wife looks like (he will be pleasantly surprised for sure). Nasty things start
to happen, a man stalks Sara and attacks her at home. Sara and Ted decides to try and make a new start as husband and wife but the unpleasant
things going on makes him believe that he could've been a bad person before the accident and the one's who arranged his return could be killers.

Not gory but very recommended. Senta Berger is luscious and very good and one of the best "Gialli Women in Peril" of the genre.
Regarding Whiskey the Dog's unfortunate demise the filmmakers assured us and stated in the end credits that a Real dog actually had been killed
when filming the scene .... Nooo, i was only kidding, i love dachhunds they are cute, small and fearless and no animal was hurt when filming.
Anita Strinberg only makes a cameo role in the film as a mysterious woman with knowledge about Ted's life before his accident.

The film is presented in widescreen 1.85:1 with an english audio dub with english subtitles. Two disc edition with the film on a bluray or a DVD.
Extra an audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, a poster gallery, other trailers for VCI films and with a textsheet. Region ALL

 

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