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Deadly Sweet (1967) – DVD Review

Deadly Sweet DVD cover

Original Italian Title: Col Cuore In Gola


Written by: Tinto Brass based on the novel “Il sepolcro di carta” by Sergio Donati
Directed by: Tinto Brass
Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ewa Aulin


  • English audio commentary by Tinto Brass
  • Lobby Card Gallery

Released by: Cult Epics
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Don’t Bother

Bernard (Trintignant) is a struggling actor in Swingin’ London. When he goes to talk to a shady bar owner about his tab, he finds him dead and a beautiful girl cowering in the corner. Being that she is a beautiful girl, Bernard takes her away before the police show up. He learns that the girl, Jane (Aulin), was trying to get an embarrassing picture from the bar owner or prove that her stepmother killed her father. Or…something. So they wander through London trying to find the photo, or her brother Jerome, or something. Then Jane is kidnapped by a dwarf, Bernard is tortured by a gangster named Jelly-Roll and there’s a fashion shoot. Or…something.

[ad#longpost]As you can tell, I was very confused by what was going on. While I usually like a story when I’m watching a film, sometimes the visual style of a movie is enough to engage you. Style is very much in the forefront of this picture. You have scenes going from black and white to color, split screen, and massive use of visual symbolism. Unfortunately, the various tricks employed are applied without any sort of relation to the story or even to a consistent theme. It’s like Brass has a bunch of new toys and has to play with all of them. But beyond the tricks, it’s just a bad film. A beginning scene in a dance club has one of the most blatant exposition infodumps I have ever seen. There are also long scenes of the principals discussing nothing at all through the park and the zoo while Bernard is wanted by the police. And don’t get me started on the dwarf. Brass seems to have his own vision but it’s so individual, no one else can get a handle on it.

The actors doesn’t help. Trintignant seems confused but it’s hard to tell if the confusion is from the character or the actor. Aulin’s main credit was winning a beauty contest. All she does is look doe-eyed, smile, and show her tits. It’s just more of Brass’ caring more about the surface than any depth to this film.

The only major feature on this disc in a commentary from Brass himself. A word of warning should be given because Brass has a thick Italian accent and it’s a bit of a challenge to understand him. You get the usual about how the cast and crew were wonderful to work with. But there were some interesting bits about how it was easy to film in London at the time. Also most telling is how Tinto Brass wasn’t interested in the story of the novel this movie was based on. He was interested in its language. That sums up this movie completely. Story is important and no amount of symbolism or camera tricks can compensate. So skip on Deadly Sweet.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Ewa Aulin in Deadly Sweet

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