Anima persa (1977)

Italy. France (“an Italian/French co-production”),
35mm film, VistaVision, Technospes, colour
stereo, Italian

An Italian/French horror film directed by Dino Risi.

Plot Summary

Tino is in Venice to study art, living with his uncle Fabio who is married to Elisa, a much younger woman who is frequently absent from the family home. Tino comes to realise that something is very wrong as he hears strange sounds coming from supposedly empty rooms and learns that Fabio's mad brother has been living in the house for some years…


Directed by: Dino Risi
Dean Film Rome, Les Productions Fox Europa Paris. Pio Angeletti and Adriano de Micheli present a film by Dino Risi
Screenplay by: Bernardino Zapponi, Dino Risi
Based on the Novel of the Same Name by: Giovanni Arpino published by Arnaldo Mondadori editore
Director of Photography: Tonino Delli Colli
Edited by: Alberto Gallitti
Music by: Francis Lai
Costumes: Luciano Ricceri
Art Director [and] Furnishings: Luciano Ricceri
Locations: Venice, Veneto, Italy

Vittorio Gassman (Fabio Stolz)
Catherine Deneuve (Sofia Stolz)
Danilo Mattei (Tino)
Anicee Alvina [real name: Anicée Alvina.[/mfn] (Lucia)
Ester Carloni (Annetta)
Michele Capristi (il duca)
Gino Cavalieri (Versatti)

Alternative Titles

Alma perdida – Spanish title
Almas Perdidas – Portugese title
Âmes perdues
The Forbidden Room
– US title
Lost Soul – US advertising title
Muukalaisia venetsiassa – Finnish title
Verloren Jeugd – German title
Zagubione dusze – Polish title


Variety‘s Flor called it “grim, gripping at times, very evocative too” and praised “the way Tonino Delli Colli used the crumbling palaces, the narrow streets, even the filth of the canals, is strikingly captured.” They cncluded that “Gassman's presence naturally adds enormously to the creation of an eerie, chilling atmosphere. Even Catherine Deneuve, due to excellent direction no doubt, rises above her usual standards. And young Danilo Mattei is a find, doing very credibly in situations strewn with pitfalls. Technically this is a jewel, Francis Lai's score underlining beautifully the core of events and Delli Colli displaying great mastery all along.” 1Variety vol.285 no.12 (26 January 1977) p.56


Ciné-Revue vol.57 no.10 (10 March 1977) pp.14-17 – review
Cineforum no.168 (October 1977) pp.637-638 (Italy) – review
Delirium no.2 – credits, review
Le Film Francais no.1669 (18 March 1977) p.4 – review
Jeune Cinéma no.102 (April/May 1977) pp.34-35 – review
Lumière du Cinéma no.3 (April 1977) pp.34-39 – review
Positif no.192 (April 1977) pp.64-66 – review
Rivista del Cinematografo vol.50 no.3 (March 1977) pp.74-76 (Italy) – review
Variety vol.285 no.12 (26 January 1977) p.56 – credits, review (by Flor)

Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.308-309 – credits, review
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 pp.24-25 – credits, review
Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.138 – credits