The Flower in His Mouth (1975)

Elena Bardi (Jennifer O’Neill, The Psychic) has moved to a small Sicilian town to teach, but on her first day she’s harassed by a man and no one helps her. The next day, that man is dead and she’s a suspect. Everyone in town treats her with near contempt except for Bellocampo (James Mason, absolutely incredible in this)m a lawyer who teaches her all of the secrets of the city, such as how she can change the laws about students evading school. The only other person she grows close to is Professor Belcore (Franco Nero), but he won’t even appear in public with her.

When a second person insults her and also winds up dead, the superstitious people of the small town believe that she has a secret power. She uses this belief to give grants to poor families and then further uses it to send their children to school. Even powerful senators begin to listen to her and change the laws to fix up the neighborhoods where the most cash-strapped citizens live.

The real reasons why Bellocampo has led her to improve the city is incredibly shocking, so much so that I’d like you to discover it for yourself, as well as Mason’s astounding work in this motion picture.

This may be discussed as a giallo, but beyond the murders, it is truly a story of human nature.

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