Suspiria – Italy, 1977

Suspiria title

Suspiria is a 1977 Italian supernatural horror film directed by Dario Argento from a screenplay co-written with Daria Nicolodi. It stars Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé and Udo Kier.

American student Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no-one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered.

The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place…

Progressive rock band Goblin performed the film’s score.

It was also one of the final feature films to be shot in was shot using EastmanColor film and processed using the so-called “Technicolor Dye Transfer” technique in the Italian company’s processing plant before it was closed.


Suspiria is the first of the trilogy Dario Argento refers to as “The Three Mothers“, followed by Inferno and The Mother of Tears.

The film has become one of Argento’s most successful feature films, receiving critical acclaim for its visual and stylistic performance, outstanding colours, and soundtrack.

US company Synapse’s long-awaited 40th anniversary SteelBook release of Suspiria is now available. Limited to 6,000 units, the three disc set features the film on its on Blu-ray, extras on another, and a CD featuring a remaster of Goblin’s iconic score.

Centrepiece is the 4K restoration of the original uncut 35mm camera negative, with colour correction supervised by director of photography Luciano Tovoli. It features the 4.0 English language LCRS sound mix, along with the Italian 5.1 surround sound mix. Newly-translated English subtitles for are also included.

Buy 4K Blu-ray Steelbook or 2-disc Special Edition:

  • Limited edition of only 6,000 units produced
  • Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
  • Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by Suspiria Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
  • Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
  • Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
  • Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
  • Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute Suspiria A visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
  • Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from Suspiria
  • A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of Suspiria – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
  • Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
  • Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
  • Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
  • “International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
  • Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
  • Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
  • Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
  • Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s Suspiria motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release


” …does have its slender charms, though they will most assuredly be lost on viewers who are squeamish. The plot, as transparent as the pane of glass that slices up the movie’s first victim, is intentionally ridiculous, and Mr. Argento’s direction has the mocking, stylized simplicity of a comic strip.” Janet Maslin, The New York Times, August 13, 1977

“It’s difficult to give a flavour of its unique, surreal, hyper-intense mood by simply describing it. It’s not all that helpful to outline the plot, since there’s very little of it, and what there is doesn’t make much sense.” Adam Smith, Empire


Suspiria may be Argento’s silliest work, but while its plot is scarcely sensible, the film rightfully earns its notoriety via Argento’s fabulous and detailed engagement and reworking of fairy-tale motifs. The film’s opening “once upon a time” giddily anticipates the nasty folktale that follows.” Ed Gonzalez, Slant magazine


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” …the storyline is seriously under-baked and derivative … Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Alida Valli are all wonderful, the images continually provoke a tantalizing atmosphere of sinister magic, and the dialogue has an acerbic wit not commonly found in Argento’s work… Tim Lucas, Pause. Rewind. Obsess.

Suspiria remains a high point in horror cinema, a feverish nightmare perfectly captured on film. Umbrella’s Blu-ray release is a good one, presenting the film in great shape, with a few audio options and an excellent selection of extra features.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!


“Plot coherence is flimsy at best, and realistic motivations for some of the excesses are hard to find. To my taste, Argento is also overly dependent on loud sound effects and music to make the visuals more upsetting. The acting varies from understated realism, despite often ludicrous dialogue, to a crazed Teutonic charicature. That said, Argento can create striking images…” Mike Mayo, The Horror Show Guide


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Cast and characters:

  • Jessica Harper as Suzy Bannion
  • Stefania Casini as Sara
  • Flavio Bucci as Daniel
  • Miguel Bosé as Mark
  • Alida Valli as Miss Tanner
  • Joan Bennett as Madame Blanc
  • Udo Kier as Dr. Frank Mandel
  • Barbara Magnolfi as Olga
  • Eva Axén as Pat Hingle
  • Rudolf Schündler as Professor Milius
  • Susanna Javicoli as Sonia
  • Franca Scagnetti as Cook
  • Giuseppe Transocchi as Pavlo
  • Jacopo Mariani as Albert
  • Renato Scarpa as Professor Verdegast
  • Margherita Horowitz as Teacher
  • Lela Svasta [uncredited] as Mother Suspiriorum/Helena Markos
  • Dario Argento [uncredited] as Narrator

Wikipedia | Animated title gif courtesy of Monster Serial

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Categories: 1970s, 4k, Blu-ray, Italian

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