Italian Giallo in Film and Television

A Critical History

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About the Book

Since the release in 1929 of a popular book series with bright yellow covers, the Italian word giallo (yellow) has come to define a whole spectrum of mystery and detective fiction and films. Although most English speakers associate the term giallo with the violent and erotic thrillers popular in the 1960s and 1970s from directors like Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and others, the term encompasses a wide range of Italian media such as mysteries, thrillers and detective stories—even comedies and political pamphlets. As films like Blood and Black Lace (1964) and Deep Red (1975) have received international acclaim, giallo is a fluid and dynamic genre that has evolved throughout the decades.

This book examines the many facets of the giallo genre —narrative, style, themes, and influences. It explores Italian films, made-for-TV films and miniseries from the dawn of sound cinema to the present, discussing their impact on society, culture and mores.

About the Author(s)

Roberto Curti is an Italian film historian and a contributor to periodicals and to books published in Italy, Great Britain and Spain as well as the United States. He lives in Cortona, Italy.

Bibliographic Details

Roberto Curti
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 509
Bibliographic Info: 80 photos (30 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8248-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4645-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
1. Telefoni Gialli: Detective Stories in Fiction, Stage, and Film, 1929–1943 11
2. A New Giallo for a New Italy: From the ­Post-War Years to the Boom, 1945–1961 43
3. Kriminal Tango: The Giallo’s Evolving Imagery in the 1960s 65
4. The Drooling of the Devil: Tales of Sex and Intrigue, 1967–1970 117
5. On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts: The Cinema of Dario Argento, 1970–1975 155
6. The Name of the Game Is Kill: The Argento–style Giallo … and Beyond, 1970–1980 187
Between pages 278 and 279 are 16 color plates containing 30 photographs
7. Smoke and Mirrors: Other Perspectives in the Genre, 1969–1979 279
8. … And Give Us Our Daily Murder: ­Made-for-TV Gialli in the 1970s 329
9. Murder Most Foul: The Changing Face of the Giallo in the 1980s 344
10. What Is Left of the Night? Different Shades of Giallo, 1990–1999 395
11. New Maps of Hell: Italian Giallo in the New Millennium 416
Chapter Notes 445
Bibliography 465
Index 467