Nora Davis (Leticia Roman) is on vacation headed to Rome to visit her Aunt. On the plane she is given a pack of cigarettes by another passenger. While standing in line at customs the man is arrested by police for having marijuana laced cigarettes. Nora tries to secretly drop the pack he gave her but another person mistakenly thinks she dropped it by accident and returns it to her.
At her aunt’s house she is met at the door by Dr. Marcello Bassi (John Saxon). He tells her that her aunt is ill and to try not to worry her. He gives her his number at the hospital should she need him. Her aunt is cheerful but is in bed and is following the doctor’s orders. During the night her aunt has an attack and dies. Nora tries to call the hospital but there is a thunder storm brewing outside and it is affecting the lines. She puts on her coat and heads outside. She is then mugged and her purse is stolen. The mugger throws her down on the ground where she is knocked unconscious.
When she regains consciousness she is still a little befuddled. She hears a scream and sees a woman come into the light. The woman falls to the ground. A knife is sticking out of her back. Then a man comes into view. He takes the knife out of her back and drags the dead woman away. Nora once again passes out. When she awakes again the storm is over and it is morning.
A passerby sees her and tries to give her whiskey from his flask. It spills on her. When he sees a policeman coming he runs away. The police think she is drunk and bring her to the hospital. They diagnose her as an alcoholic with delusions. When Marcello shows up he gets her out of the hospital but since the body is gone and the blood washed away there is no proof of what she says she saw. The police chalk it up to Nora being an American that spends her free time reading mystery novels.
Marcello tries to help her but even he believes that she was imagining everything. In the meantime Nora is being followed by a man who turns out to be a reporter named Andrea Landini (Dante DiPaolo). He had done some stories on several murders that happened ten years ago. Called the alphabet killer the perpetrator killed three women based on their last names. One was A, another B, and the third victim’s name began with a C. It’s not until Nora becomes a target that everyone begins to take notice, and Nora’s last name, Davis, begins with a D.
“The Girl Who Knew Too Much” AKA “La ragazza che sapeva troppo” AKA “The Evil Eye” was released in 1963 and was directed by Mario Bava. It is an Italian giallo film and is considered the first giallo. It is also the last film that Bava did in black and white.
The film is very Hitchcockian with some noir elements. Bava was a fan of Hitchcock and his reverence shows. Even the name of the film is homage to Hitchcock. There’s some humor interlaced with the murder mystery that makes the movie a lot of fun. I really liked it.
AIP released the English dubbed version in America as “The Evil Eye”. There are some differences between the Italian version and the American version of the film. Some scenes were deleted and others added in to make the American version more of a comedy. Even the music score was different. The Italian release was scored by Roberto Nicolosi and the American by Les Baxter. I believe the two films also have different endings.
Mario Bava has a cameo as Uncle Augusto.