The Devil Has Seven Faces
Horror, Mystery | 90 mins | Released: 1971
Director: Osvaldo Civirani
Starring: Carroll Baker, George Hilton, Stephen Boyd, Lucretia Love, Luciano Pigozzi, Daniele Vargas, Franco Tessel
Our Rating: 7
The Devil Has Seven Faces is set in Amsterdam. Julie Harrison, a translator, discovers that a mysterious man is stalking her. She subsequently informs David Barton, her lawyer, that her identical twin, Mary, has contacted her from London because her life is being threatened. Dave’s friend Tony, a racing driver, saves Julie from being kidnapped and the pair are later menaced by two thugs. An insurance investigator informs Barton that Julie’s sister apparently stole a million-pound diamond from a Maharaja.
The Devil Has Seven Faces has giallo twists woven throughout its sinuous plot. Baker once again plays a seemingly innocent woman terrorized by outright villains or ambiguous individuals who turn out to be rogues.
In The Devil Has Seven Faces, Stephen Boyd, the star of epics like Ben Hur, is a lawyer whose motives are constantly being questioned by the police. Boyd’s career was on the slide in the early Seventies, but this film is considered one of his better roles.
The film includes some stupid moments, such as: Baker being menaced by a man in a gorilla mask brandishing a large knife. The climax is set in and around a desolate windmill, and is reasonably effective; it was believed that the Amsterdam locations could have been put to better use.
Long-serving director Civirani turned his hand to any genre from sexy mondo to peplums, westerns and motor racing pics.
In giallo terms, The Devil Has Seven Faces is a run-of-the-mill affair, but the ambiguous leads played by Baker, Boyd and Hilton, combined with the presence of genre regulars such as Pigozzi and Ressel provide reason alone to give this Devil a spin.
Author: gridoon – 10 December 2006
“It could perhaps be argued that “The Devil With Seven Faces” shouldn’t even be categorized as a Giallo, but even though the gore is largely missing (most of the killings are simple shootings), many of the other typical characteristics of the genre are here: the colorful title, the convoluted, twisty and often nonsensical plot (one bit with an apparently dead old lady whose body disappears makes no sense at all!), the music, the European locations, the general “feel”, and George Hilton as a charming/shady character. Carroll Baker is several cuts above the average Giallo heroine (and boy does she have GREAT LEGS), but, on the whole, this film is merely passable. Still, those who enjoy the genre and have learned to accept its flaws should probably check this one out. (**)”
More crime thriller than Giallo, but still a good film
Author: The Void from Beverley Hills, England -19 August 2007
“Despite the title, which suggests that this will be a horror film, The Devil with Seven Faces is actually a straight crime thriller. The film features several of the Giallo trademarks, but gory murder isn’t one of them, and instead the plot focuses on a missing diamond worth one million pounds. The style of the film is very much Italian, with all the characters being of the slick and cool variety and the plot taking a backseat to some odd decisions and unlikely happenings. It’s safe to say that this isn’t the usual Giallo and some fans may be disappointed, but in its own right, The Devil with Seven Faces is a fun little thriller with lots to enjoy. The plot focuses on Julie Harrison, a woman who finds herself being chased by criminals after it emerges that her twin sister Mary stole an expensive diamond and then double-crossed her partner. She meets Tony; a suave racing car driver who saves her from the criminals and gives her a place to hide. But the plot thickens when a diamond dealer turns up and mistakes Julie for her sister.
The film features two of the major Giallo stars; George Hilton and Umberto Lenzi’s favorite leading lady, Carroll Baker – who are reunited after 1968’s The Sweet Body of Deborah. I’m not Carroll Baker’s biggest fan, but she has a lot of experience playing the terrified woman and she does well with the central role. George Hilton also plays to his strengths as the charming, but strangely sinister leading man and the pair have a good on-screen chemistry. The plot flows well throughout and there’s usually enough going on to ensure that the film never becomes boring. Director Osvaldo Civirani populates the film with enough car chases and shootouts to make sure that it remains entertaining even when the plot isn’t doing much. It soon becomes obvious where it’s going, but the ending is well handled and the twist is logical even if it isn’t exactly difficult to guess. Overall, the fact that this film doesn’t follow the Giallo formula may make it disappointing for people expecting a gory, murder-fuelled thrill ride – but in its own right, this is a decent film and I recommend it.”