6.8/10
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23 user 61 critic

One on Top of the Other (1969)

Una sull'altra (original title)
After his sickly wife's sudden death of an asthma attack, an unscrupulous doctor discovers that she has a doppelgänger who is a burlesque dancer, not aware of the intricate scheme that's being weaved around him.

Director:

Lucio Fulci

Writers:

Roberto Gianviti (story), Lucio Fulci (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Sorel ... Dr. George Dumurrier
Marisa Mell ... Susan Dumurrier / Monica Weston
Elsa Martinelli ... Jane Bleeker
Alberto de Mendoza ... Henry Dumurrier
John Ireland ... Inspector Wald
Riccardo Cucciolla ... Benjamin Wormser
Bill Vanders Bill Vanders ... Insurance Agent
Franco Balducci Franco Balducci ... Officer Loveday
Giuseppe Addobbati ... Brent (as John Douglas)
Félix Dafauce ... Royal Insurance Official (as Felix de Fauce)
Jesús Puente ... Sergeant Rodriguez (as Jesus Puente)
George Rigaud ... Arthur Mitchell
Jean Sobieski Jean Sobieski ... Larry (as Jean Sobiesky)
Faith Domergue ... Marta / Martha
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Storyline

The wife of a doctor (Jean Sorel) is murdered. He had a mistress a long ago, since his wife (Marisa Mell) always begged herself out of engagements because she is a asthmatic. On the other hand, she enjoyed a part time job as a stripper. Did the doctor kill her? Written by Lukas Fichtinger <liderc@gmx.at>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An all out erotic thriller! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Perversion Story See more »

Filming Locations:

San Quentin, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

ITL445,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Six degrees of "Diabolik": in 1965 British director Seth Holt set out to make a film out of the Italian comic strip "Diabolik", casting Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, who play Dr. George Dumurrier and Jane as Diabolik and his lover Eva Kant. The film never got beyond the planning stage, although photographs of the duo in costume survive. When Mario Bava successfully brought "Diabolik" to the screen three years later--Danger: Diabolik (1968)--Marisa Mell, who plays Susan/Monica, starred as Eva Kant. See more »

Goofs

The photo of George in the newspaper is clearly a still of him from a later scene in the film, where he visits The Roaring Twenties. See more »

Quotes

Monica Weston: [about to have sex with George] I hope you didn't mind being alone for a few minutes. I wanted to change into something nice; I think making love should be elegant, yet simple. You know... me and you. Nothing elaborate.
Dr. George Dumurrier: You don't go for threesomes?
Monica Weston: Depends on how much I get.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Marisa Mell and John Ireland, who are second and fifth-billed respectively on Italian prints, are top and fourth-billed on English prints. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Severin DVD uses a French version of the film and runs about 97 minutes. The UK videotape version is about 11 minutes longer, at 108 minutes. See more »

Connections

References Phantom Lady (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elegant and Fascinating Early Fulci With the Magnificent Marisa Mell

Lucio 'godfather of gore' Fulci may be best known for his ultra-gory Zombie films, but the majority of my fellow fans of Italian Genre-Cinema will probably agree that his Gialli from the early 70s, most notably his greatest masterpiece "Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino" aka. "Don't Torture A Duckling" (1972) are easily as noteworthy. The master's first Giallo, "Una Sull'Altra" aka. "Perversion Story"/"One on Top of the Other" pf 1969 is a very gore-less but utterly fascinating Thriller/Mystery which no Cult-fan should consider missing.

As some other early specimen for the genre, this isn't a typical example for the Italian Giallo, as it doesn't focus on a series of murders. The womanizing San Francisco Doctor George Dumurrier (Jean Sorel) is with his mistress, the erotic photographer Jane (Elsa Martinelli) when he hears that his wife, who suffered from grave asthma, has died. Soon thereafter, George makes the acquaintance of the sexy and mysterious stripper Monica Weston (Marisa Mell), who happens to be the spitting image of his wife. Shortly thereafter, it is revealed that his wife was poisoned...

I do not want to go into detail about the wonderfully convoluted storyline, but I can assure that "Una Sull'Altra" should satisfy any fan of suspenseful mysteries in general and Italian Cult cinema in particular. Italian cult-directors had a unique talent for combining sleaze and elegance; the late 60s in particular were a period when elegant films about sexual perversion (such as "Femina Ridens" or "La Malizie Di Venere") would lead from the restrictions of 60s cinema into the openly and explicitly sleazy 70s. "Una Sull'Altra" is from that period, and while the film is not yet quite as graphically explicit as many 70s Gialli, the focus on erotic elements is strong. Especially the gorgeous Austrian cult-beauty Marisa Mell ("Diabolik", "La Belva Col Mitra", "Milano Rovente"...) epitomizes eroticism as the femme-fatale stripper Monica. The film is full of tasteful female nudity, most notably by Mell. Elsa Matinelli makes another great, strong and sexy female as the sleaze-photographer Jane and Jean Sorel ("La Corta Notte Delle Bambole Di Vetro", "Una Lucertola Con La Pelle Di Donna", "Belle De Jour") makes a very good lead. The rest of the cast includes several other well-known cult-actors such as Alberto De Mendoza ("Lo Strano Vizio Della Signora Wardh", "La Coda Dello Scorpione"), John Ireland and Riccardo Cucciola, who is probably best known for his role in Mario Bava's 1974 masterpiece "Cani Arrabbiati".

As Fulci's later Gialli, "Una Sull'Altra" is elegantly shot. While the San Francisco setting differs from the typical Italian Giallo-Settings it has a great potential for atmospheric beauty which Fulci makes best use of. The psychedelic score by maestro Riz Ortolani is hypnotic and brilliant and one of the most mesmerizing atmospheric aspects of the film. While the film is almost completely gore-less, Fulci's talent for gore manifests in one sequence in a morgue. "Una Sull'Altra" is a suspenseful, atmospheric and highly interesting film that is worth watching for many reasons. The gorgeous Marisa Mell is only one of these many reasons, but she's undeniably the most obvious one. 8/10


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