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

I'm not extremely familair with the subgenre known as giallo, but my research tells me that it is Italian ficttion with emphasis on horror/thriller, and mystery elements, or something like that. I've actually seen two such films before this one, but didn't know they were apart of some sort of established tradition. Since I liked those, and enjoyed this, I may in the future seek out some more of these types of movies. From that rambling description above, you should basically have gotten that this is a msytery thriller/ slasher/serial killer type of movie. I can't really go into too many details without giving too much a way, but let's just say that plenty of American films have borrowed if not stolen from this, and other similar Italian films. It is an Argento film, and his first if I'm not mistaken. It is beautifully shot, fairly violent, and absolutely overflowing with tension, suspense, and great mood, atmospohere, and tone. The music by Ennio Morricone is suitably creepy, and all of this makes up for the fairly flimsy plot which might be the weakest thing at play here. It also feels very Hitchcokian, too...which is of course a good thing. An American man finds himself caught up in an odd series of murders in Italy, and must work with the plocie to try to solve an ever increasing epidemic of serial murders, while along the way looking out for the safety of himself and his wife. The pacing could have been a bit faster, but the murder setpieces are well done, and this is a pretty enteraining film. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, but it isn't enough of a letdown to warrant a harsher grade. All around some decent stuff, especially if you like some artsiness with your violence.

- cosmo313, Sunday, March 6, 2011

4 stars

Mr. Dario Argento has had a big influence on our culture and his films where just massive successes here and his first movie was the first true Giallo movie ever made and if you don't know Giallo stands for Yellow in Italian. And of course Italian cinema is big here and vice versa. Suspiria was just a shocking movie about witches and loud music that scars you to death and the color but I would like to go to his previous film or his first. But so far my favorite Argento film is Tenebrea. Okay very interesting plot and story, A man who runs an art gallery and working late but he accidently runs into a man in a rain coat trying to kill this lady but he interrupts them and he runs off. The police investigate but give up so Sam and a few friends take the case but big mistake. The serial killer is targeting them he pushes Sam's friend out a window and pushes another in front of a train. And his last words were "I know you!" Sam neededs to find out fast or he will die too. You will be shocked by the ending and when you finally find out who it was all along even I went WTF big I think his biggest shocker was in deep red. So in this movie look for clues and you will find out soon enough who it is. The acting is extremely good from American Tony Musante and same goes for other cast members I think the fear in there eyes gets to you. Mr. Argento direction is great I can really see it happing and with all the killing scenes of violence and the mystery parts. The characters are very ambiguous one of them when you first watch you are thinking is the killer but trust me you will be shocked. I think the scene was Sam almost gets run over was very shocking like always the head lights turn on and the car drives down an ally and hits him, But look carefully though at the car. I come to a close a very enthusiastic flick by Dario and its also one of those Rare's that I didn't give a 100% to because I just cant seem to do it. But it's a landmark in Giallo

- ariuza1, Monday, December 20, 2010

5 stars

Classic 70's giallo from Argento, in what I feel is possibly his best film. Brilliant

- SirPant, Tuesday, September 22, 2009