A five-part Italian-language miniseries about a young Englishwoman searching for her blind sister in Italy. Not to be confused with the English-language feature film version The Secret of Seagull Island (1981).
Barbara Carey flies to Italy to visit her blind sister Mary Ann, who is studying in a music academy. Once in Rome Barbara discovers her sister has disappeared and, according to the Italian police, she may have been murdered by a maniac who is obsessed with young sightless women. With the help of Martin Foster, from the British Embassy, Barbara starts trying to find out what happened to Mary Ann. She even pretends to be blind herself in an attempt to attract the killer, and finally the clues lead her to Seagull Island, privately owned by a mysterious British citizen named David Malcolm. Barbara must then find the answers to several questions: was Mary Ann really kidnapped? What happened to David's wife and son in the island? And why is David's relative Carol so unhappy to see a woman with him?Written by
A woman (Prunella Ransome) goes to Rome looking for her blind sister (Sherry Buchanon) who has mysteriously disappeared. She is alarmed when she learns that another blind women has been found dead at the bottom of the ocean. She suspects that the murder and the possible abduction of her sister are both connected to the mysterious Seagull Island. She meets the owner of the island and pretends to be blind. He takes her out to his island--she finds out because he wants her to be a companion to his disturbed son, who was disfigured in an "accident" which had also killed his young wife. . .
Considering this is basically a TV movie condensed down (in the version I saw)from a miniseries that originally aired on British television, it is actually pretty damn entertaining. It is a British-Italian co-production, so it contains a lot of elements of an Italian giallo. Giallo fans may find it pretty tame and not visually stylistic enough, but considering it was made at a time when the Italian genre had pretty much degraded into non-sensical softcore porn (i.e. "The Sister of Ursula", "Play Motel"), a TV movie that actually has to rely on acting and a coherent plot is kind of refreshing. And this movie mines the much more subtle British mystery tradition as well. It was no doubt inspired by two classic 19th century British novels--the first obviously is "Jane Eyre", but the second I can't really say without ruining the ending. The overall result ends up being very similar to the excellent French-Italian giallo "Anima Persa" with Catherine Deneuve.
The director had previously worked as a cinematographer on the underwater sequences in the Italian "Jaws" rip-off "Tentacles". Not surprisingly, and just like in that movie, the underwater sequences are definitely the most visually interesting. Lead actress Prunella Ransome might be most recognizable from "Who Can Kill a Child?" where she dealt with another, but very different, mystery on an island. Italian-movie fans of the lovely Sherry Buchanon may be disappointed that the erstwhile softcore starlet doesn't get naked as per usual or even appear in a bikini like she did in "Tentacles" (where she had a cameo as a particularly scrumptious piece of calamari bait). She always seemed a better actress though than a lot of her Italian roles allowed for, so it's nice to see her appear in something a little more worthy of her talent. And speaking of softcore stars, Gabriel Tinti (aka Mr. Laura Gemser) also has a supporting role as a helpful local fisherman. He could also be a pretty decent actor when he wasn't busy making the "beast with two backs" (one of them pretty hairy) with his more famous wife.
I'm surprised at the negative reviews this received--I actually thought it was pretty decent.
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