SMILE BEFORE DEATH (1972) Giallo reviews coming soon to Arrow Blu-ray

smile before death is a 1972 Italian Giallo thriller about a teenage girl who suspects her stepfather of killing her mother.

Directed by Silvio Amadio (Amok!) from a screenplay co-written with Francesco Orazio Di Dio and Francesco Villa, based on a story by Amadio and Francesco Merli.

La Domizia Cinematografica stars Jenny Tamburi aka Luciana Della Robbia (The psychic; Frankenstein, Italian style; The suspicious death of a minor), Silvano Tranquille (black belly of the tarantula; Spider web; So sweet, so dead), Rosalba Neri (The Devil’s Wedding Night; Lady Frankenstein) and Hiram Keller (Lifetime; Seven deaths in the cat’s eyes).

The soundtrack was composed by Roberto Pregadio [as Bob Deramont] (The last house on the beach; Death carries a cane; king of kong island).


Blu-ray release:
smile before death is published by Arrow Video as part of the Giallo Essentials: Black Edition collection on July 26, 2022. The other two films in the box set are The weapon, the time, the motive and The Killer has reserved nine seats.

Contents of the limited edition:
New 2K restorations from the original camera negatives of smile before death and The weapon, the time, the motive
2K restoration from the original negative of The killer has reserved nine seats
High-definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of each film
Italian and English lossless mono soundtracks on smile before death and The killer has reserved nine seats
Lossless mono Italian soundtrack on The weapon, the time, the motive
English subtitles for Italian soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English soundtracks
Hard box packaging with original poster artwork in a window sleeve from the Giallo Essentials Collection
Reversible sleeves for each film with original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais, Peter Strain and Haunt Love

First disc: Smile before death
New audio commentary from authors and reviewers Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
Italian and English original titles before and end
Smile of the Hyena, a brand new video interview with Stefano Amadio, film journalist and son of director Silvio Amadio
Unreleased extended nude scenes, not used in the final film
Image gallery

Disc 2: The weapon, the time, the motive
New audio commentary by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
A Man in Giallo, a brand new video interview with actor Salvatore Puntillo
Front and End Titles for the Lost English Dub
Image gallery

Disc three: The Killer has reserved nine seats
New audio commentary from author and reviewer Kat Ellinger
Hanging with Howard, a video interview with actor Howard Ross
Writing with Biagio, a video interview with screenwriter Biagio Proietti
Italian theatrical trailer (in Italian and English)
Image gallery

First Pressing Only: Individual illustrated collector’s booklets for each film, with new writing by Rachael Nisbet, Barry Forshaw and Peter Jilmstad

A middle-aged woman, Dorothy Emerson, is seen dying violently in a bathroom. A police report concludes that she committed suicide by slitting her throat with a shard of broken glass because she had been drinking heavily and the door was locked from the inside.

A teenage girl, Nancy Thompson (Luciana Della Robbia), has unexpectedly arrived at the late mother’s country villa. She meets Gianna (Rosalba Neri), a photographer and former best friend of Dorothy (who lived at the villa as a longtime guest), and they become friends.

It soon becomes apparent that Gianna and Marco (Silvano Tranquilli) have a relationship. The teenager’s natural charm intoxicates the older two and jealousies quickly develop. More importantly, alerted by housekeeper Magda (Dana Ghia), Nancy begins to suspect that her mother’s death may not have been a suicide…


Clearly influenced by deceptive erotic thrillers such as Paranoia and A quiet place to killby Silvio Amadio smile before death is an object lesson in how audiences should never trust what they see and hear in the Gialli.

A detailed look would reveal too many other enjoyable twists awaiting viewers. Suffice it to say, this is a seductive cinematic treat that benefits from an underlying sense of evil, including some eyebrow-raising interactions. The ending is maybe a bit too neat but at least it’s not predictable.


All three tracks are excellent – ​​Tranquilli has never been so slim and Neri proves once again that she can play the pants of most European femme fatales – and a special mention has to go to Luciana Della Robbia who goes from convincing way from a seemingly sweet innocent to a predatory one. with a surprising program.

Yet what really smile before death such compulsive entertainment is Roberto Pregadio’s infectious soundtrack which features groovy organ with delightful vocals by Edda Dell’Orso – although it should be noted that some may find the use of variations of the same musical motif repetitive. exasperating rather than captivating.

Other reviews:
“Silvio Amadio only made another Giallo and that would be Amok! Much like that film, this one also proves that Silvio was perhaps more interested in filming beautiful women behaving badly as he showed the murders as it relates to Giallo. Never mind. This movie has a lot of storylines to do and I was really surprised by the conclusion of this caper. B&S on movies

“A comeback effort more focused on sordid events and complex double crosses than actual harassment and cuts, this has a lot to like for fans of this format.” Don’s world of horror and exploitation

“A light recommendation, this well-acted Giallo with plenty of nudity and decent mystery is more than okay for genre fans. However, the hint of familiarity with Amok! and a ghastly theme song threatens to derail it a bit. Rosalba Neri definitely stands out, but Jenny Tamburi is fine too. Shameless self-expression

” …smile before death essentially reverses the premise of Amadio’s more famous Giallo Amok! (1971) […] the film makes do with a rather silly and convoluted case of karmic retribution. A reminder that, as salacious as she was, the Giallo kind was often guilty of pandering to squared bourgeois morality. The rotating image

” …smile before death turns out to be far more exceptional than originally thought, this gradual, almost lethargic opening, ultimately serving a purpose and with each twist, getting better and better. Neri is as fantastic as always, her presence is a boon to any image although Robbins almost steals the show as an intriguing girl. The Revealing Spirit

“What makes it a joy is the fabulous soundtrack, the showy shagadelic decor and fashion, Jenny Tamburi’s continued nudity and fast pace. Thank goodness there aren’t the typical Giallo police detectives boringly putting the pieces together. No sir, not this movie. Video Zeta One [includes a slew of salacious images from the movie]

Choice dialog:
Marco [Silvano Tranquilli]”Be careful. With all your traps, you’re going to roast yourself like a chicken.




Cast and characters:
Luciana Della Robbia … Nancy Thompson
Silvano Tranquille … Marco
Rosalba Neri … Gianna
Hiram Keller… Dorothy’s lover
Dana Ghia … Magda
Zora Gheorgieva … Dorothy
Luigi Antonio Guerra … Giovanni
Fabio Garriba

Technical details:
1 hour 24 minutes
Technochrome Kodak Eastmancolor

Original title:
Il Sorriso Della Jena “The Smile of the Hyena”

MOVIES and MANIA is a truly independent website and we rely solely on minor revenue from internet advertisements to stay online and grow. Please support us by not blocking ads. Thank you. As an Amazon Associate, the owner occasionally earns a very small amount from qualifying related purchases.

Comments are closed.