Box art for The Bird With the Crystal Plumage

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage

  • Rated PG
  • HD and SD formats available


An American writer traveling in Rome is the only witness to an attempted murder by a sinister man in a raincoat and black leather gloves, though he is powerless to do anything to stop him.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Dario Argento's undistinguished Italian thriller was an unexpected hit in 1969, thanks largely, one suspects, to some violent scenes that were unusually graphic for their time.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rotten: Short on ideas.

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Vivid mayhem

- Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Dario Argento's directorial debut is a stunning achievement in horror. The start of an excellent career is showcased on screen. What you have with Bird With The Crystal Plumage is a solid horror Giallo that is quite possibly Argento's most solid picture.Bird With The Crystal Plumage is a fine Giallo picture, probably the best of it's kind. Every Argento fan should seek this one out. What makes this film succeed is the eerie atmosphere than Argento paints added by Ennio Morricone ominous score. This is a classic of Italian horror, and I find it almost an insult that people try to compare this film to anyone of Hitchcock's films. Argento and Hitchcock are two different kinds of directs and both have made their mark in horror history. This is an intense horror film that brings genuine chills to the viewer and is by the films end, you are in awe at how powerful the horror is. Bird With The Crystal Plumage is one of the best Giallo films that I've seen, only matched by Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture A Duckling and Argento's own Deep Red. Bird With The Crystal Plumage is an accomplished horror film that is brilliantly directed by Argento. A must see for fans of horror, and this is one of the best films that Dario Argento has made. A unique film thats not easy to forget. The film is bold and tense, and relies on atmosphere to create effective terror. A classic worth seeing.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, July 31, 2011

4 stars

Very fine debut that set the trend for giallo for the next half dozen years. The seeds of the genre had already been sown but here Argento strikes out stylishly and makes a massive mark. It was interesting watching this again after having seen so many giallo since first seeing this and seeing just how much influence this had been. There are elements, particularly visually, that we will see developed in later Argento films as well as the many imitators. So many red herrings and unanswered questions, of course, but by now we are used to that and others would be freed by this incompleteness to go on and create marvellous colourful multi-layered nonsense for us all to revel in. The Morricone score must also be mentioned for it is of monumental proportions covering the widest range possible from the children's voices through symphonic passages and to the almost abstract.

- matertenebraum, Thursday, April 14, 2011

4 stars

Dario Argento's first major film is a masterpiece of suspense and mystery. Unlike the brutal and violent work later in his career, this film plays more as a thriller with very little blood and on-screen violence (it's more implied rather than shown). It's obvious the influence that Hitchcock had on this film, but Argento's style never wavers and holds the piece together beautifully.

- FilmFanatik, Friday, December 24, 2010