It’s no wonder so many novels by Vladimir Nabokov were made into movies. After all, we are talking about the man who once said: “If you don’t admire all the colours when you are outside, there is no point in becoming a writer.” The same goes for watching a movie by Mario Bava: he was a genius at composing colourful movies.
La Ragazza che sapeva troppo (1963) is a black-and-white movie. There are no colours to admire, apart from the variations in grey. Is it still a good movie? Yes. While colours add that little bit extra, it’s just the bit that makes a good movie excellent.
In Ragazza we follow Nora, an American girl who goes to Italy to visit her sick aunt. There she witnesses a murder, or so she thinks. There is no body to be found and, only moments before the murder, Nora had been attacked by a thief.
As we follow her on her journey to the truth, it becomes clear why the European title (a literal translation from the original Italian title, La Ragazza che sepeva troppo) is The Girl who Knew too Much. This is the Bava version of a Hitchcock movie, a case study for Bava’s later gialli.
If you’re American you should look for the DVD of La Ragazza che sapeva troppo. The video version, called The Evil Eye, is a pretty different American cut of the same movie. This cut makes the movie more confusing and the soundtrack is different too.
If we forgive Ragazza for being a bit too sketchy at times, we are left with an intriguing puzzle, with a movie that wants to show beauty in almost every scene, with a few scenes that’ll remain in your head for at least a few months. in short, with a very good movie.
Letitía Román is so intriguing it looks like she is having an affair with the camera.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be the voyeur.
No, to finish off, here’s a scene from the movie: