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Il dolce corpo di Deborah (1968) Online

Il dolce corpo di Deborah (1968) Online
Original Title :
Il dolce corpo di Deborah
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Horror / Mystery / Romance / Thriller
Year :
Directror :
Romolo Guerrieri
Cast :
Carroll Baker,Jean Sorel,Evelyn Stewart
Writer :
Ernesto Gastaldi,Luciano Martino
Type :
Time :
1h 35min
Rating :
Il dolce corpo di Deborah (1968) Online

A young newlywed couple from America returns to Geneva to visit Marcel's home town. Once there he is informed of his former lover's suicide and in turn is subjected to threats that accuse him of being responsible for her death and further, threaten his new fiance's life. George Hilton plays a peculiar neighbor with voyeuristic tendencies who has an obsession with Deborah. {locallinks-homepage}
Complete credited cast:
Carroll Baker Carroll Baker - Deborah
Jean Sorel Jean Sorel - Marcel
Evelyn Stewart Evelyn Stewart - Suzanne Boileau
Luigi Pistilli Luigi Pistilli - Philip
Michel Bardinet Michel Bardinet - Police Commissioner
Renato Montalbano Renato Montalbano - Telephone Man
Mirella Pamphili Mirella Pamphili - Telephone Clerk (as Mirella Panfili)
Domenico Ravenna Domenico Ravenna - Doctor
Valentino Macchi Valentino Macchi - Garagista
Giuseppe Ravenna Giuseppe Ravenna - Maitre d'Hotel
George Hilton George Hilton - Robert Simack

Italian censorship visa # 51074 delivered on 15-3-1968.

Italian censorship visa # 80793 delivered on 8-2-1986 (re-rated).

User reviews



Carroll Baker made several excursions to Italy throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, notably a series of erotic gialli; this was the first of them and, though a rather inauspicious beginning, several that followed (even those made by other hands, such as Sergio Martino – actually serving on the film under review as Production Manager!) can be seen to have adhered pretty closely to the formula unveiled here. Though contributing to the low rating was the atrocious sound quality – which not only seemed to have inherent hiccups (whereby lines get repeated every so often) but the English dialogue track featured a few unaccountable 'intrusions' of Italian and French! – the movie itself is a mainly listless affair which contrives to wake up only during the last 20 minutes (with the expected bevy of improbable twists and turns)!! To be fair, I was drawn to this principally by the notable cast – which also includes Jean Sorel (who followed his career highpoint, Luis Bunuel's BELLE DE JOUR [1967], with a number of gialli: for the record, he and director Guerrieri would subsequently collaborate on the infinitely more rewarding THE DOUBLE [1971]) and, likewise all genre stalwarts, George Hilton (who eventually rose to protagonist status under Martino's guidance), Luigi Pistilli and Evelyn Stewart. To go back to the erotic theme at the core of these type of films (perhaps to make up for the frankly tedious plots), this first entry may have seemed pretty risqué at the time but certainly feels tame when compared to later examples (not necessarily those made by the group of people already mentioned).
The Rollers of Vildar

The Rollers of Vildar

Considering the talent on display, it really has to be said that The Sweet Body of Deborah is something of a disappointment. The script is penned by Sergio Martino's long-time collaborator Ernesto Gastaldi (who put pen to paper on classics of the genre such as The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh and The Case of the Scorpion's Tail), the director is Romolo Guerrieri, who also made the highly rated 'The Double', and it stars a trio of Giallo regulars; Carroll Baker (Lenzi's Kiss Me, Kill Me), George Hilton (The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh) and Jean Sorel (Fulci's One on Top of the Other). There's also a producer's credit for Sergio Martino's brother and workmate, Luciano Martino. The Sweet Body of Deborah is a rather early Giallo as it was released prior to the boom of the subgenre in the early seventies, and so it's something of a front runner; which somewhat explains why the film doesn't stand up to best that the genre has to offer, although many directors; such as Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi has already made successful films prior to the release of this one.

The plot is one of the film's strongpoint's, as a seemingly chance encounter between the central couple and a man who claims Jean Sorel murdered his girlfriend opens up into a twisted and complex tale of lust and greed. The major problem with the film stems from the handling, as although the twists and turns are well worked; there isn't a lot of suspense in the plot, and the film boils down to snail pace far too often. Furthermore, despite coming from soon to be esteemed Giallo cast members, the ensemble is rather flat and no one gives a particularly strong performance. The director does have an eye for detail, however, as the locations are stunning and Carroll Baker gets to don some of Giallo's most outrageous outfits. The film is typical of Ernesto Gastaldi in that there are a lot of twists and no one is ever quite what they seem. The climax is highly improbable and far too convoluted, but it's carried off well and director Guerrieri does a good job of presenting a number of twists in quick succession to ensure that the movie ends on a high. Overall, this isn't a classic of the genre; and Giallo fans can feel free to skip it, but I love a good twisted film and the ending really made it for me.


IL DOLCE CORPO DI DEBORAH bears a strange resemblance with Umberto Lenzi's COSI DOLCE...COSI PERVERSA. Same lead actress (Carroll Baker), same plot, same twist ending. Made the same year...who is the copycat? Not important after all, the Lenzi's flick being far more superior in suspense & quality.

For about an hour or so, we follow newlywed Carroll Baker and husband Jean Sorel thru the Swiss Alps, Geneva, the swiss countryside... guess the Swiss authorities paid a lot to make their country have a sufficient screening time to get noticed. No plot at all, just beautiful shots of the mountains & the city. Then some hot sex scenes between Baker & Sorel. Then back to some über-chic club. Then some more hot sex. And, oh, there's Luigi Pistilli accusing Sorel of driving his ex Susan to suicide. That's the beginning of the plot. then they're getting scared by strange phone calls. Oh, er!

La Baker is viewed under any possible shot (no frontal nudity, though :these are the 60's), she can scream all right. But she really doesn't know what she's doing. Obviously, the screenplay either, as it doesn't know how to handle such screen presence. The editing doesn't help, as it jumps from flashy 60's shots of a nightclub atmsophere (flashy camera angles, too) to loooong face to face dialogues between the two leads. No rythm is given, which leads to some boredom after the first half hour.

The last 30 minutes are a bit more satisfying, as the suspense grows thicker, the rythm accelerates and the story really begins. Too bad it comes too late.

Romolo Guerrieri is not a great director here. He's just a man following Luciano Martino and Mino Loy's orders : show more Carroll Baker and to the hell with the story (who cares anyway). No special talent, no great use of the anamorphic screen (Cromoscope here). No specific direction of actors. Just plain average.

But it's not bad (in a Mattei way), it's always fun if you're into some 60's/70's sexploitation mood. (S)Exploitative indeed : the black stripper as an arty-sex show is ridiculously long and may seem infuriatingly mysoginistic today. Mizar's strip in Giuliano Carmineo's PERCHE QUELLE STARNE GOCCE SUL CORPO DI JENNIFER? avoids this trap by eing a victory over machismo. This is pure pre-giallo routine.

But you can't help looking at screen wondering how come someone like Carroll Baker made this in 1968 after HOW THE WEST WAS WON, CHEYENN AUTUMN or HARLOW.

Better stick to the Lenzi territory for some sexy-giallo stuff. COSI DOLCE...COSI PERVERSA is a really better choice.

Superwonderscope says : 5


"Il Dolce Corpo di Deborah" is a lushly filmed romantic thriller, starring Carroll Baker and Jean Sorel, certainly one of the most beautiful on screen couples of all time. In fact everything about this production is gorgeous, from the actors and the magnificent interiors and fashions, to the absolutely fantastic film score from Nora Orlandi. All this combined elegance makes for an intoxicating viewing experience that takes the audience into an opulent world, where nobody is quite what they seem. Mistakenly labelled as a 'giallo' film, but this is hardly a giallo, so I don't understand the connection. There are no violent, stylish murder set-pieces to mention at all. So those looking for a giallo will most likely be disappointed, and I think that contributes to the films rather low score here. Instead we have a film more in the vein of Luchino Visconti; a study of deception and betrayal, and greed, among the beautiful "jet set," in opulent and exclusive surroundings. This reminded me of Visconti's "Conversation Piece" for instance. Filmed throughout Switzerland, and then the French countryside, this is escapist cinema at it's finest, with an intriguing story that unfolds at a leisure, elegant pace. It possesses the unique Euro-style film making that is most impressive here. "Il Dolce Corpo Di Deborah" is a classic in it's own right.


Occasionally suspenseful but basically rather lukewarm sub-Diabolique-goings-on, which has a flashy direction, some elaborate twists, impressive music score and a deliberately murky and grim style in the usual French-Italian manner. It suffers, however, from a maddeningly illogical narrative, platiduous dialogue, too many slow patches and surprisingly uninspired ensemble acting.



French-Italian co-production featuring Carroll Baker and Jean Sorel as a newly-married couple honeymooning in Geneva, Sorel's hometown, where he is accosted by an old acquaintance and accused of being responsible for his former girlfriend's suicide. Sorel soon begins to distrust his new wife, whom he thinks may be complicit in a plot to drive him mad. Confounding, partially-dubbed travelogue/mystery with lots of coy nudity and rolling about in the sheets. Not poorly-made, but not a respectable project either, particularly for Method actress Baker, who would go on to star in a number of Euro-potboilers following this one (she must have had some serious debts to pay). The ridiculous twist-laden plot may hook some, but the titillation factor remains low. *1/2 from ****


"The Sweet Body of Deborah" follows the American Deborah (Carroll Baker) who marries Marcel (Jean Sorel) in Europe. The two go to Geneva on their honeymoon, but find their marital bliss disrupted over accusations that Marcel caused his ex-girlfiend's suicide.

The first of many horror and giallo films that Carroll Baker made in the late 1960s–mid-1970s in Italy, "The Sweet Body of Deborah" is one of the more amusing ones—significantly melodramatic, and bolstered with atmospheric set-pieces and cinematography. The first half of the film feels fairly one-note, but it begins to gain steam at the midway point. Lush cinematography of the Geneva Alps contrasted with the sunny atmosphere of Nice leaves the film visually interesting.

The film was clearly dubbed in post-production (in English no less, the language it was shot in in the first place), so there is a disconnect between the filmed performances themselves and the vocal supply that leaves something to be desired. In any case, Baker seems to be enjoying herself here, playing the sensuous new bride who finds herself in grave danger. Jean Sorel is watchable as her hunky leading man.

Overall, "The Sweet Body of Deborah" is a decent giallo mystery with light tinges of horror. It's a treat for fans of Baker, but stands on its own as a solid early entry in the Italian thriller subgenre. Not a masterpiece by any means, but a surprisingly amusing, atmospheric romp. 6/10.


The Italian Giallo is my absolute favorite sub-genre in the whole wide world of cult/horror cinema, and "The Sweet Body of Deborah" is one of the last titles I had yet to see. With its year of release being 1968, this can still be considered as a very early giallo. Even though the almighty Mario Bava had already unleashed two of the greatest classics that formed the genre, namely "The girl who knew too much" and "Blood and black Lace", the glorious heyday of the giallo would only start in 1970 and last until approximately 1974. Based on all the gialli I've seen, I pretty much conclude there are two main plots. Either a giallo handles about a masked psycho-killer who savagely butchers people – preferably pretty young models – with sharp objects, or it handles about a convoluted murder conspiracy complete with sexual intrigues, betrayal and triangular relationships. The first category obviously contains the goriest and most wickedly entertaining films, while the second category often has the most intelligent screenplays and unique stylish trademarks. "The Sweet Body of Deborah" belongs in the convoluted conspiracy category, but sadly I have to admit that I expected a whole lot more from this film. The cast is great, but the script is rather dull and routine and the pacing is intolerably slow. The story starts out good enough, but gradually gets less and less compelling and by the time the few ingenious and unpredictable twists near the end approach, I practically didn't care no more. Deborah and Marcel are two joyous newlyweds who visit Geneva together. Via Philip, an old acquaintance, they find out that Marcel's beautiful former fiancée Susan committed suicide. Philip behaves very aggressively and claims that her death was Marcel's fault. Soon after, when they are in the mansion where Marcel and Susan lived together, Deborah begins to receive menacing phone calls. While Marcel gets sucked into his own private investigation, Susan takes more tranquilizers than is good for her and gets friendly with the flamboyant painter next door. What follows are a series of far-fetched and unbelievable plot twists, but they are typical for prolific writer Ernesto Gastaldi and typical for the giallo overall. Director Romolo Guerrieri, on the other hand, inserts very few personal trademarks or stylish aspects and I mainly blame him for "The Sweet Body of Deborah" being boring to look at. The cast is excellent with stellar names like Jean Sorel, Carroll Baker, Luigi Pistilli and Georges Hilton. For them alone, and obviously for the luscious curves of Baker and Ida Galli (in flashbacks), the film is worth checking out but it certainly isn't a highlight of the genre.


Gravy, baby! Or whatever it is that these annoying Summer of Love types say to each other while dancing to funky music in a rather awkward fashion. I guess my tolerance to these free living types strutting about underneath pop art and ridiculous clothing depends on the story. Luckily, the Sweet-Sweet-Sweetsweetsweet Body of Deborah is one of those Gialli that is all about confusing the viewer with people's motives, rather than racking up the body count.

Deborah (Baker) and Marcel (Sorel), are newlyweds heading back to Geneva from the USA to visit Marcel's home town, if they can stop shagging for two minutes in order to do so. There's trouble in paradise however as Philippe (Pistilli) appears and accuses Marcel of causing the death of his last lover, Susan, by abandoning her for some reason.

I liked how they managed to fit in the old Italian standard of the creepy mansion in this one as Deborah and Marcel visit Susan's house and Debs as she probably liked to be called gets death threats through a phone that doesn't work. Plus someone keeps playing a creepy theme tune in other rooms.

The couple scarper for a nice non-creepy villa in Nice, only to find neighbour Robert (Hilton) has his eyes on Deborah and is hilariously frank about his Peeping Tom fetish! The rest of the film is the usual viewer fooling barrage of twists right until the last second, but I don't mind films like that as I don't have a clue what it is going on and things are nicely tied up in the end.

Strangely, I'm finding that these non-formulaic gialli are more prevalent in the sixties than in the seventies - is it Dario Argento's fault. Also - check out the cheesy dance the couple do before having a game of Twister! This film has a nice jazz soundtrack too and plenty of style - I guess it's not so well known as the body count is real low (one!) and although you kind of see Baker naked, she don't float my boat.

Because she's blonde. Is that racist?