Combustible Celluloid
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With: Daniela Giordano, Brett Halsey, Dick Randall, Valeria Sabel, Michael Hinz, Rainer Basedow, Brigitte Skay, Calisto Calisti, Pascale Petit
Written by: Guido Leoni, Mario Moroni, Carl Ross
Directed by: Mario Bava
MPAA Rating: R
Language: Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 83
Date: 07/15/1972

Four Times that Night (1972)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

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By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Four Times That Night (1972) is an intriguing non-horror entry from Italian director Mario Bava, a kind of Rashomon look at a sex comedy. A man meets a beautiful woman (Miss Italy Daniela Giordano) in the park and asks her out on a date. They go dancing, then return to his place. She winds up with her dress torn and he with scratches on his forehead. How did it happen? In her version, she tried to protect her purity. In his version, she was a sex-crazy maneater. The ending turns a little rote when a man in a lab coat comes in to explain it all to us, but until then Bava has a real handle on the eroticism as well as the unique staging within the apartment building set.

In 2019, Kino Lorber released a fine Blu-ray edition of the movie, featuring both the English and Italian-language tracks, with optional English subtitles. (It defaults to the Italian version.) The bold colors don't quite pop as much as you'd hope, but it still looks very good. I have no quibbles with the audio. Bava expert Tim Lucas also provides an informative commentary track. There are two "deleted scenes," but only the audio exists, so we are given the bookend scenes where the missing scene would go, and then a black screen with the audio. Finally, we get a handful of trailers for other Bava films.

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