The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) ***1/2

Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), the first true giallo film, draws heavily from Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang for its look and feel. The title of the film itself is course a play on Hitchcock's two versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934 and 1956) as well. 

Girl has more in common with film noir and hard boiled crime than the blood soaked gialli that would saturate Italian cinema in the early to mid 70s (starting with Dario Argento's 1970 film The Bird With The Crystal Plumage). This can be attributed to the mood and lighting created by Girl's B&W cinematography, its use of voiceover, and its debt to Edgar Wallace, Mickey Spillane and Agatha Christie novels. There's also a playful nature running throughout the film that is absent from most other gialli (see the use of Adriano Celentano's addictively catchy song "Furore").

While certainly not the best giallo or really a terribly "exciting" film, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is nevertheless an important and influential film in the genre and an enjoyable one at that.

You can find my Giallo Feature Films Ranked list here.

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