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Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)

Michael Brandon , Mimsy Farmer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet + The Cat O'Nine Tails + The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Tom Felleghy, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Fulvio Mingozzi
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Mya Communication/Ryko
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LIK8DO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,341 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Roberto (Michael Brandon) is a young handsome drummer playing in a rock band. For the last week he has been stalked by a mysterious guy with dark sunglasses. Roberto decides to put an end to this and follows his stalker in a deserted theatre. He confronts

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Along Came a Spider March 22, 2009
Format:DVD
First, a word of caution - if you haven't already seen the film you'd do well to avoid Amazon's image gallery as it pretty much gives the game away.

As with the previous two entries in the unofficial Animal Trilogy, Four Flies on Grey Velvet is short on explicit gore but brimming with atmosphere and artistic ingenuity, with set-piece murders primed and mined for maximum tension. It was with this film that Argento began to cement his particular style and is something of a crucible for future ideas. The murder of Roberto's maid in a local park foreshadows John Saxon's fate in Tenebre, and with its sudden lapses in time and attempted escape through the cobwebbed space between two buildings (to a soundtrack of whispers and sighs) it also sows seeds that would flourish in Suspiria. Other visual motifs (crimson curtains, extreme close-ups, inanimate objects suddenly wielded by a seemingly maniacal camera) would be repeated or re-jigged in Deep Red, Phenomena and Opera.

Argento's original intention was to have a gay protagonist and though the character of Roberto is still open to such a reading - his victimisation being as a result of a fear of being outed (as a murderer) has obvious correlations (note also Brandon's shaggy mane v Farmer's gamine crop or the rather tame bathtub scene with Francine Racette which sees Roberto playfully seducing his mirror image) - the more overt references are passed to Jean-Pierre Marielle who brings immense likeability to a small role as the PI hired by Roberto, and whose swish factor is tempered by a steely determination to finally cracking a case. A frosty Farmer acquits herself well, though Brandon is merely okay.
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent picture quality but some missing footage (:40) February 26, 2009
Format:DVD
After suffering for so long with fuzzy VHS bootlegs, I was very much looking forward to this release. It's certainly the best the film has ever looked but after going through every single scene and comparing it to the recent RetroFilm DVD, I found that there are three scenes with missing footage totaling :40. These occur during scene transitions and include dialogue. Also, the speed of the audio seems slowed down. If you listen to Mimsy and Michael, their voices are way too deep compared to previous versions or films. It sounds like they rushed this release once they got the exclusive rights instead of getting it perfect. That is too bad. This could have been the one. It is not. I gave it 3 stars for the picture quality alone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retinal Scan... March 28, 2011
Format:DVD
I spent years telling myself that "One day, I'll watch all of Argento's movies!". Well, up until recently, I'd only seen DEEP RED, TENEBRE, PHENOMENA, and SUSPIRIA. A few weeks ago, I watched INFERNO and BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, leading me to finally see FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET. I must say that FLIES is superb, even w/ it's sometimes-goofy characters and lifeless leading man. Argento is indeed a genius of suspense, mystery, and horror, using symbols and colors to paint his gloriously bizarre pictures. The scene of the victim entering the tight, labyrinthine passageway is brilliant! We feel her desperation and doom! If you love Argento giallos, then this one is a must...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Owning if you Are an Argento Fan, But... April 26, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Four Flies ranks somewhere in the middle of Argento's films. Way better than is 90s era stuff like Trauma, but not quite on par with Suspiria or Deep Red. Still I'd recommend it to anyone who is is even mildly an Argento fan.

I have mixed feelings about this DVD. The picture quality is great, and, let's face it, the visuals are really the main attraction in any Argento film. There is an ugly black line across the screen during the climax, but, after checking the video on some of the bootleg copies that are floating around the 'net, this appears to be part of the source film?

Also, the sound quality is poor but passable. Basically, the audio is crackly, like an old, dusty vinyl LP. Often it is too quiet and you'll be leaning in to your TV trying to hear the dialogue or the wonderful Ennio Morricone score.

Fans will still have to wait for the perfect DVD of 4 Flies, but, for the time being, this version will do fine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A early example of a later master March 31, 2010
By rndkr
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This early Dario Argento giallo boasts mainly a haunting Ennio Morricone score and a few excellent set-pieces to make it well worth viewing (the fact that it's been unavailable in a decent, viewable format up until last year also lent it a certain holy grail mystique for Argentophiles like me). The performances by Jean-Pierre Marielle as a flamboyantly gay detective (he brings a certain dignity to an obviously stereotypical role) and Mimsy Farmer as the hero's jittery wife are nicely done; Michael Brandon fares less well as the wooden, none-too-sympathetic leading man. There are several stylish directional touches here that hint of the delirious highwater mark that was still to bloom full flower in Argento's mid-seventies-to-early-eighties work (in Deep Red through Opera, to be exact), particularly in the groovy opening credits and in the slo-mo final sequence, the latter of which achieves a poetry rare in horror films. Those knock out moments bump up my final rating a half star: ***1/2 out of *****
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I was very pleased by Four flies on grey velvet.
It was great. I got it for my son who had been looking for it for some time. He is a Dario Argento fan. Good quality and came quicker than I expected. Well packaged.
Published 8 days ago by Cicely Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Release
If you want to complete your Argento "Animal Trilogy" or if you just like stylish giallo-cinema, look no further. This release is Quality, with a capital Q. Read more
Published 13 months ago by N.C.
5.0 out of 5 stars horror/murder mystery shines on blu ray.
Dario Argento made many classic mystery horror movies in his career. He managed to be make successful movies that were well recieved around the world. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Michael Dobey
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Argento's best work, but still one of the best giallo films ever...
When Roberto Tobias believes he has killed a man, he becomes the target of a complex blackmail plot, made more complex by the existence of a real killer who is murdering everyone... Read more
Published on November 15, 2010 by Channel KDK12
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin stuff for the faithful - and a poor DVD transfer
Long lost in a prolonged rights battle and unseen for years, Dario Argento's Four Flies On Grey Velvet may come from his most consistently inspired period but it's still such thin... Read more
Published on September 20, 2010 by Trevor Willsmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dario Argento's Early masterpiece
This film wraps up Argento's "Animal Trilogy", which included 'Bird With The Crystal Plumage' and 'Cat 'O Nine Tails'. Read more
Published on January 16, 2010 by Daimonion
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Horror film
I bought this for a friend, and she said it was not like the movie that she remembered it to be. She was rather disappointed in it. She decided to keep it though. Read more
Published on December 16, 2009 by Susan L. Fulton
1.0 out of 5 stars Expensive Bootleg
It is being heavily argued that this dvd is not legal, and with good argument. Bottom line for the potential buyer- the audio pitch is off, distorting the entire soundtrack, there... Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Cult Movie Maniac
3.0 out of 5 stars Lesser effort from maestro Argento
FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET
[Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio]

(Italy/France - 1972)

Aspect ratio: 2. Read more
Published on October 28, 2009 by Libretio
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost great.
Look, it's a vast improvement on the German semi bootleg that was floating around last year. Shame about the scratches on the print near the end. Read more
Published on June 16, 2009 by Bob Short
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