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The Cat o' Nine Tails Reviews

Karl Malden plays blind crossword puzzle-solver Franco Arno, who's teamed with newsman Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus) to track the killer of a member of a secret research foundation, the Terzi Institute, which has been investigating the possibility that men with an extra Y chromosome are predisposed to violence. In the course of the investigation, Giordani becomes involved with troubled Anna Terzi (Catherine Spaak), whose father runs the institute, and Arno's little niece, Lori (Cinzia De Carolis), is placed in grave peril. The film's standout moments include a photographer's (Vittorio Congia) death in front of a moving train; a car chase the streets of Rome; a sequence involving poisoned milk (a clear tip of the black leather gloves to Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 SUSPICIAN); and a final rooftop battle between Giordani and the elusive killer. Morricone's music fits tightly into this sophomore suspenser by Italian giallo specialist Dario Argento, who went on to more accomplished thrillers like DEEP RED (1975) and TENEBRAE (1982).