IL TRAM Episodio di La porta sul buio

Sirio Bernadotte [Dario Argento]

Sog., Scen.: Dario Argento. F.: Elio Polacchi. M.: Amedeo Giomini. Scgf.:Dario Micheli. Mus.: Giorgio Gaslini. Int.: Enzo Cerusico (commissario Giordani), Paola Tedesco (Giulia), Pierluigi Aprà (Roberto Magli), Emilio Marchesini (Marco Roviti), Corrado Olmi (Morini), Fulvio Mingozzi (poliziotto). Prod.: Giuseppe Mangogna per SEDA Spettacoli S.p.A. per RAI Radio Televisione Italiana. DCP. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In the 1970s, when Dario Argento created the four episode miniseries La porta sul buio for the Italian broadcaster RAI, he was attracted by the medium’s potential (especially the technical side) as well as the chance for his creations and nightmares to reach a much larger and more popular audience. On the other hand, he was influenced by evident self-censorship, reticence and an underlying conviction that such a familiar format was unfit for the transgressiveness and enormity of the criminal rituals and deathly hallucinations that were common elements of his mise en scène. In other words, the product’s technical and formal control depends, in this case, on a more powerful aesthetic and linguistic control. The two episodes Testimone oculare (Eyewitness) and Il tram thus end up being mainstream forms… of the obsessions and themes contained in the initial “zoonomastics” trilogy. Argento introduces in person to guarantee the product’s atmosphere, once again emulating Hitchcock, and speaks in a calm and almost reassuring tone of crimes taking place in normal daily life in efficient Italian cities…
It is no coincidence that both episodes (the first written and scripted, the second also directed by Argento under the pseudonym of Sirio Bernadotte) depict a distinct normalisation of the practice and motives of murder… Il tram is the story of a jealous and rejected lover who wants revenge. We are nowhere near the chromosomal alterations, deranged minds and sexual perversions characterising the killers of the first feature films… To make up for it, Argento brings back his interest in the psychological act of looking, in the differences and gaps behind appearances and in images. With Inspector Giordani, played by Enzo Cerusico with a faint yet apparent naivety as the most complete and stubbornly grounded Argento detective, the anxiety of mechanically iterating and reconstructing to discover the ever-elusive clue could not be more evident than it is in Il tram.

Roberto Pugliese, Dario Argento, Il Castoro, Milan 2011


Copy From

Courtesy of RAI Teche. Restored in 4K by RAI Teche at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from a 16mm positive print. Funding provided by Ministero della Cultura