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The Pyjama Girl Case, aka La ragazza dal pigiama giallo

Ragazza dal pigiama giallo, La (Flavio Mogherini, 1977) Ray Milland; aka The Pyjama Girl Case; crime; NOT Australian, but partly filmed in Sydney; based loosely on the case of Linda Agostini

This is a film in the Italian 'giallo' genre (the word means 'yellow', and refers to the cheap publication of crime thriller novels with yellow covers). I've never seen anything quite like it (thank the goddess). It appeared to be (I may be coining the phrase) 'made for ADR'. I mean that it was shot in whatever language the actors happened to speak, and then dubbed into whatever language it was to be released in, which in this case was Italian. The film was directed by Flavio Mogherini, and when released in Italy was entitled La ragazza dal pigiama giallo (1977) with the 'giallo' being added to the original story for the sake of the generic reference. However, it's an Australian story: you'll find the Wikipedia entry under Linda Agostini, as she was one of the candidates for the victim of the murder in question. What interested me, and the reason I kept watching this very bad film to the end, is that what I watched was a version on DVD in English (2006) and I was trying to see if the dialogue was as shot or dubbed later. I'm fairly sure that most if not all of it was done in ADR, as the voice work is of such poor quality that I don't think an actor could have acted that badly if they were actually on set. The film was partly shot in Sydney (Waverley Cemetery is used, as in many Oz films requiring a cemetery scene) and partly in a studio in Rome. The two leading actors, the husband and wife, both have Italian names, but the detective and the professor are played by Americans, Ray Milland and Mel Ferrer—the former looking like he really couldn't give a fuck about this job, and it was just paying the rent (or whatever). There is also one quite well-known Australian, Rod Mullinar. C'è la prima colazione del cane!

There's also a doco on the DVD directed by Mark Hartley, who works (in Australia) on those making-of docos found on DVDs (and who also made the wonderful Not Quite Hollywood, 2008). This one was a good deal more enlightening to watch than the actual film.

See: Gino Moliterno, Cinema Papers, 2013. He includes this very useful explanation of what giallo means.

... it's generally agreed that the giallo film did achieve something of a "classic" formulation in a series of key films which ... managed to lay down what would remain the genre's most characteristic narrative and visual tropes. These included: an innocent witness to a horrific murder unwittingly drawn into playing the amateur detective in order to bring the culprit to justice; multiple murders (usually of beautiful women) shown in gory detail; a masked, black-gloved killer with almost superhuman capabilities; forces of law and order largely incompetent or inefficient until the end; and the killer's inevitable death as an orchestrated set piece of spectacular violence.

Garry Gillard | New: 21 October, 2012 | Now: 27 June, 2020