Alla ricerca del piacere (1972) Starring Farley Granger, Rosalba Neri, Barbara Bouchet, Petar Martinovitch, Dino Mele, Rosalba Neri, Umberto Raho,
Nino Segurini, Patrizia Viotti.
Directed by Silvio Amadio.
Running Time: 98 minutes.
Rating: R (Nudity, Sexuality, Violence)
Richard Stuart (Granger), a wealthy writer of pulp mystery novels has his young secretary disappear from his Venetian home. The police investigation turns up nothing. He employs Greta (Bouchet), a typist from the same publishing house, in her place while the police continue to investigate.
But it turns out that Greta is a friend of the disappeared girl and has taken on the job to find out what really happened. As she transcribes his dictated audio tapes of his new novel the book suggests what may have happened to her friend or perhaps what is going to happen to her.
Richard's kinky young Italian wife Eleonora (Neri) adds her own perverted influence to the sick game and they both toy with Greta or so it seems. Greta, like many female heroines in this type of thriller, is told continually that she may be reading too much in to what is happening and some of theories are exposed as being flawed further eroding her credibility.
Numerous incidents occur which test Greta's nerves and each time the threat is revealed to have been benign or exposed as such by the policeman investigating the disappearance.
This title did not make it into American theatres until June 1978 and is one of the last of the waves of exploitation films brought to North America to fill grindhouses. The latter waves would reach home video shelves directly.
Farley Granger was another of those former Hollywood contract players who looked to extend his acting career by appearing in lower-budget productions in Europe. In Granger's case his casting is clearly legacy casting from having appearing in the Hitchcock classic Rope (1948). Giallo's in Italy looked to mine that Hitchcock style and feel in their narratives.
But Hitchock movies did not and could not blend eroticism and definitley not lesboeroticism in with the productions as ones in 1970s Europe were able to do.
In the case of this one where the viewer is intended to find suspense occasionally there is humour. The duck hunting scene, for example, is very funny though Greta almost loses her life. The film itself is great fun for those that enjoy this subgenre when it is done well.
Italian censorship visa # 58802 delivered on 13-11-1971. There was and is censorship in Italy even though the content of some titles might suggest that anything goes.