Sweet Dreams – Rediscovering ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ /La Casa del Tappeto Giallo (Italy 1983 – 87 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - November 21, 2014
Sweet Dreams – Rediscovering ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ /La Casa del Tappeto Giallo (Italy 1983 – 87 mins)

A clever though sadly overlooked psychological thriller that gets better as it goes along, ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ is a highly entertaining puzzle that slowly falls into place and features a pleasing plot twist…….. or two!

After advertising some valuable carpeting for sale, Antonio’s wife Franca receives a visit from a mysterious gentleman who is keen to view the carpet. The elderly visitor soon reveals to Franca that he has recently been released from prison for murdering his wife. He also seems to know a lot about her and, after locking all the doors and windows, slowly reveals to the petrified Franca his real motive for calling round. I must keep the plot brief as there are some unforeseen twists and turns which would give away some neat surprises. I will jut say that the ending is very satisfying!

As the frightened and confused Franca, French actress Béatrice Romand is suitably convincing, as her character is thrust into a living nightmare in her own home. Romand had earlier come to prominence in Éric Rohmer’s excellent moral tale ‘Claire’s Knee’ (’70). Ingmar Bergman regular Erland Josephson is quietly sinister as the mysterious visitor, while Vittorio Mezzogiorno plays Franca’s suspicious husband Antonio. Rounding out the small cast is Milena Vukotic as a shadowy psychiatrist.

Director Carlo Lizzani had earlier made the 1975 drama ‘Last Days of Mussolini’, starring Rod Steiger and Franco Nero. There’s a nice score by Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani, who earlier scored Mario Bava’s excellent ‘Twitch of the Death Nerve’ (’71).

With some wonderful unforeseen twists that are more than credible, ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ is a terrific mind game with a deadly sting in its tail that will leave a satisfying smile on your face. Just remember – Beware what you advertise!

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