Forbidden Photos of a Woman Above Suspicion (1970)

Minou (Dagmar Lassander, The House by the Cemetery) loves her husband, Peter. But Peter is cold and only really seems to care about work. All she does all day is pine for her husband and take care of a turtle. Yep. You just read that correctly.

One night, a mysterious stranger attacks her, cuts open her clothes and then warns her: her husband is a killer.

The mysterious man is proven correct when a man who owed Peter money shows up dead. He demands that she come to his home, where he blackmails her into sleeping with him. Seeing as how he has recorded their tryst, he now has more material on her.

Even her friend Dominique (Nieves Navarro, All the Colors of the Dark, who was married to the director, Luciano Ercoli) can’t be trusted, as Minou finds photos of the blackmailer in provocative poses in her possession. When she finally gets the police to investigate, the man’s home is empty and Dominique tells the police he never even existed. Oh yeah. Dominique was once Peter’s woman before Minou. So there’s that.

Minou has a nervous breakdown and overdoses on tranquilizers before sobering up and learning that it’s all been a plot against her from the beginning. But come on — if you’ve watched any giallo, you knew that going in.

Despite its lurid title, Forbidden Photos of a Woman Above Suspicion isn’t filled with sex or even all that much violence. It’s more about alcoholism and how women were taught that they had to have the skills to land a man, but not what to do with their lives to make them fulfilled beyond just a relationship.

Director Luciano Ercoli has some gorgeous shots in here that really take advantage of the space age 1960’s aesthetic. And a bossa nova score by Ennio Morricone keeps this film bouncing. It wouldn’t be the first giallo I’d recommend, but it’s not the last, either.

If you have Shudder — and you totally should — you can find this film right here.

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