In three years and three films, the Luciano Ercoli-Susan Scott duo left a touch of their own to Giallo, before disappearing with a large sum of money Ercoli had suddenly inherited from a relative.
Lots have been said about Ercoli/Scott's films bringing a feminist point of view to the genre, and there is no question about it: for the first time in this otherwise rather machist production, women were empowered and key to the plots (on this topic, read this interesting review of "Forbidden photos" and a previous article from this blog).
Despite this undeniable emphasis put on women, almost as a political statement, it is also interesting to see "Le foto proibite di una signora per bene" (1970), "La morte camina con i tacchi alti" (1971) and "La morte accarezza a mezzanotte" (1972) as visual testimonies of what state-of-the-art fashion and design meant in early 70s' Europe.
Building on glamourous lifestyles (Susan Scott is either a model or a dancer or even a lady with no other known activity than just taking pleasure out of life), these three movies are definitely landmarks of the genre: skirts, dresses, sunglasses, handbags, make-up and wigs - just remember Dagmar Lassander in "Photos..." - are displayed in an endless ballet, turning the movies into 90 minutes-catwalks in which the star of the show would be Susan Scott.
And indeed Susan Scott - aka Nieves Navarro - shines like a star in her boyfriend's movies. Everytime she's on screen she becomes the main focus and grabs attention like no other. So much so that when she disappears half-way through in "La morte camina con i tacchi alti", the film is somehow loosing its substance.
Evidence that in the end, all three movies would certainly not have been the same if Luciano Ercoli, decidedly a connoisseur, hadn't been in love with Susan Scott, decidedly a lady with an attitude.
"Le foto proibite di una signora per bene" (Forbidden photos of a lady above suspicion - 1970), "La morte camina con i tacchi alti" (Death walks on high heels - 1971) and "La morte accarezza a mezzanotte" (Death walks at midnight - 1972) are three highly enjoyable gialli, with an outstanding collection of soundtracks composed respectively by Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani and the great Gianni Ferrio. Don't miss them.