Short Night of Glass Dolls (La Corte notta delle bambole di vetro, 1971)

UK 88 Films Blu-ray edition

Turnable sleeve

 

Text below written 2016-12-10



This text have SPOILERS so beware ........

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Is this film really a Giallo? OK, i guess so as it's referenced everywhere as such, but it's more of a horror-thriller maybe
with a Nasty Feel Bad ending. Unpleasant but fascinating and with a great shooting location in Prague in, then, commu-
nistic Czechoslovakia. It's for sure one of the most unusual films in the genre. I've written about it in swedish below and
this was one of my favourite gialli films and i called it a masterpiece. And, now i've re-watched it, so what did i think ?
Since i saw this film the 1st time i've seen many, many gialli and even though this film is VERY GOOD i'm not sure if
it qualifies to be on my Top Ten Giallo list. It started out great but the ending Black Mass stuff felt a bit clunky and the
acting could've been less stilted from some, and just what poison did poor Jean Sorel get injected with?
OK, there may be poison/stuff that reduces the heartbeat to almost nothing, but if it reduces it to no pulse at all then you
are dead, and dead for real. The solution to the Case of the Missing Prague Women felt a bit of a let-down to me.

Jean Sorel plays the US journalist Gregory Moore stationed in Prague (possibly in a newsagency) and with colleagues
in ex-lover Jessica (Ingrid Thulin) and Jaques (swiss actor Mario Adorf). Gorgeous Czech girl Mira Sherkova or Mira
Svoboda (Sherkova in the subtitles to the italian audio dub) is played by the lovely genre favourite Barbara Bach.
When Mira suddenly goes missing Gregory starts sleuthing on his own with some help from his friends, and his life turns
into a hallucinatory and nightmarish world. Jean Sorel's acting is a bit stiff at times maybe but he do look scared and be-
wildered and we do feel sorry for him. What a terrible fate to suffer ... poor, poor Gregory Moore.

US Blue Underground and Anchor Bay DVD editions

The clue to the mystery of the missing girls "Butterflies that don't fly" was never clear to me, maybe some scenes were
deleted explaining this? Something about girls being destined to serve as human sacrifice's ?
And the title "Glass Dolls"? What? I didn't get that as there are no glass dolls in the film. There's something about Gregory
being afraid of crystals, about crystal chandeliers tinkling ? Maybe explanatory scenes were cut out.
Note, i haven't read on the IMDB when writing this so maybe these things are explained there.

The striking scene with Barbara Bach stuffed into Gregory's fridge in the 83rd minute: You can see her move her thumb.
widescreen 2.35:1, english or italian audio 2.0 with english subtitles (suited to the italian audio)
The only extras to this blu-ray disc are an english and italian trailer (there was an interview with Lado in the BU DVD)

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På svenska avs. den gamla Blue Underground DVD utgåvan:

En nyutgåva av detta giallo-mästerverk,och som tidigare getts ut på en Anchor Bay utgåva. 2015 kommer den visst att ges
ut i en förmodligen sensationellt snygg Blu-ray utgåva av det exklusiva (Österrikiska?) bolaget Camera Obscura, vars utgåvor
bara säljs av någon eller några retailers och garanterat kommer att kosta skjortan. Synd på en så bra giallo, en av de allra
bästa inom genren, att den inte är lättare åtkomlig. Filmen hör till dem som vuxit och vuxit i ens minne efter att jag såg den.
Jean Sorel har jag sett bl.a. i ennan, men mindre bra, giallo - A Quiet Place to Kill/Paranoia (1970) i regi av Umberto Lenzi

Short Night of Glass Dolls är en mycket bra paranoid och suggestiv giallo i gränslandet till den politiska thrillern (anm. 2016-
12-12: Nåja, det där lät ju bra i.o.f. sig men det var att ta i, visst utspelar den sig i Prag under kommunisttiden men
ngt politiskt motiv i själva mordmysteriet fanns inte).
Den amerikanske politiske reportern Gregory Moore (Jean Sorel) hittas till synes död på ett torg i Prag och förs till bårhuset.
Gregory är dock bara skendöd och filmen berättas på ett snyggt komplext sätt bakåt med flashbacks, Gregorys minnes-
sekvenser där han ligger på en brits i bårhuset. Om hur hans vackra tjeckiska flickvän Mira (Barbara Bach) plötsligt gick upp
i rök. Om hur han under ständig övervakning av den dåtida tjeckoslovakiska säkerhetspolisen, och med hjälp av kollegan,
reportern Jessica (Ingrid Thulin) själv inleder en undersökning om Miras försvinnande. Han undersöker också ett antal med
liknande försvinnanden av unga kvinnor i Prag.
En annorlunda och mycket bra giallo-thriller och med mäktig Feel Bad känsla. anamorfisk widescreen 2.35:1, mono audio,
intervju med Aldo Lado: Strange Days of trhe Short Night (11 min), trailer, filmography