The Fifth Cord (1971) - Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Hohum Score



A journalist finds himself on the trail of a murderer who's been targeting people around him, while the police are considering him a suspect in their investigation.

IMDB: 6.6
Director: Luigi Bazzoni
Stars: Franco Nero, Silvia Monti
Length: 93 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 5 out of 29 found boring (17.24%)

One-line Reviews (28)

The highlight stalking in the finale works as well with the idea of going after a child before going into the stellar chase which is what makes for a thrilling overall finale.

There are some remarkable uses of light and shadows that are simply stunning.

The brief synopsis of this film promised quite a lot of sadistic murders and and intelligent, convoluted plot twists, but it's actually one of the most boring giallo-efforts I've encountered so far.

Combined with the sets and use of color in the midst of drab cityscapes it holds your interests throughout.

The movie is impressive to look at with some stunning cinematography.

These here are what make this enjoyable enough to hold out over it's few minor flaws featured here.

A fairly typical entry in the giallo genre, largely overlooked due to the slow pacing and lack of gore which may be off-putting to some genre fans.

It's just too bad that the ending is so bland - you almost feel like the filmmakers just didn't give a crap.

Fast moving and most entertaining with no pause for any ponderous detective work.

The exquisite camera set-ups, the masterful way he shoots characters from long distances in stunning locations exploiting beautifully empty spaces(..a massive flight of steps, a long tunnel, desolate ruins of skeletal warehouses), how the lens at times looks like a spying mechanism, a type of eye that's looking at the world from a different point of view all give this a thumb up over Bazzoni's contemporaries.

A muddled but mildly entertaining mess follows, involving a sleazy doctor, his crippled wife, an asthmatic newspaper editor, a creepy race car driver, a young prostitute and her peeper pop.

Especially the early 70s have brought forth several Gialli that range among the most compelling Horror/Suspense films ever made, such as "What Have They Done To Solange", "Don't Torture A Duckling", "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times" or "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key" (all made in 1972), just to name a few.

It's also a bit confusing as it first appears the killer is killing for the sake of it (breathy sinister narration) when in actual fact they have a real motive.

Solid and highly enjoyable Giallo .

Bazzoni's direction is dynamite, aided a lot by Vittorio Storaro's stunning photography.

This is one of the most visually stunning films of all time.

The extras are also enjoyable and include a commentary track by critic Travis Crawford, "Lines and Shadows" a new video essay on the film's use of architecture by critic Rachael Nisbet, "Whiskey Giallore" a new video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie, "Black Day for Nero" a new video interview with actor Franco Nero, "The Rhythm Section" a new video interview with film editor Eugenio Alabiso, a previously deleted sequence restored from the original negative, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love and for the first pressing only an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kat Ellinger and Peter Jilmstad.

As far as the plot goes, yes, it does hold together, the murderer does not appear out of far left field at the end, and there are several quite suspenseful sequences.

As far as I am concerned, the Italian Giallo is (along with old-fashioned Gothic tales) the most elegant and intriguing sub-genre the great genre of Horror has ever brought forth.

The whole movie has a second-hand Argento feel to it, but it just meanders along in a dull and uninteresting fashion.

It's real "on the edge of your seat" kind of stuff.

Dull and uninteresting.

The death scenes aren't that original, the murder investigation is often muddled and confusing, and, other than Franco Nero, I've seen far better acting in other Gialli.

Elegant But Slow Giallo .

Direction is assured, camera-work innovative and exciting with all the performances solid, especially the charismatic Mr Nero.

Half-way through I began to get bored, and by the end when the identity of the killer was revealed and their motive explained, all I could do was shrug and rewind.

What begins as a typical Giallo-plot is executed with a very slow pace, and often drifts into melodrama instead of building up thrills.

While "The Fifth Cord" is amazingly photographed, brilliantly scored and greatly acted, it is very slow, and simply doesn't compare to the suspense of many contemporary Gialli.