Orgasmo (1969)

Italy, France,
77m (USA), 88m (Italy)

An Italian directed by Umberto Lenzi.

Plot Summary

American Kathryn West arrives in Italy after the death of her wealthy husband and moves into villa. He lonely life is turned upside down by the arrival of the handsome Peter Donovan whose car has broken down nearby. They start on a wild affair which leads to Peter bringing his sister Eva into the house – and Kathryn starts to suspect that the couple may not be quite what they seem.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi
© MCMLXIX [company not given]
Tritone Filmundustria – Roma/Société Nouvelle de Cinematographie-Paris. Released by Commonwealth United Entertainment, Inc. (on US prints only)
Producer: Salvatore Alabiso (uncredited)
Production Manager: Adriano Merkel
Unit Production Manager: Averoe Stefani
Screenplay by: Umberto Lenzi
Adaptation by: Ugo Moretti, Umberto Lenzi, Marie Claire Colleville
Assistant Director: Marcello Pandolfi
Script Supervisor: Ilde Muscio
Dialogue Director: Gwenda Pandolfi
Dialogue Consultant: Malvin Wald
Director of Photography: Guglielmo Mancori
Editorial Supervision: Harry Eisen
Film Editors: Stan Frazen, Enzo Alabiso, John Shoushe
Post Production Supervisor: Robert S. Eisen
Music by: Piero Umiliani
Sound Editors: Del Harris, Jim Bullock, Norman Suffern
Wardrobe: Gianni Pancani
Art Director: Giorgio Bertolini

Carroll Baker (Kathryn West)
Lou Castel (Peter Donovan)
Colette Descombes (Eva)
Tino Carraro (Brion Sanders)
Lilla Brignone (Teresa)
Franco Pesce (Martino)
Tina Lattanzi (Kathryn's aunt)
Jacques Stany (police inspector)
Gaetano Imbró *
Sara Simoni *
Calisto Calisti *
Alberto Cocchi *
Maria Rosiello *
Joseph Guilty [Arnold Cleever – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Folle envie d'aimer, Une – French title
Orgasm – English language title
Paranoia – US title

Extracts included in
Super 8-1/2 (1993)

See also
Les Diaboliques (1955)


Today's Cinema no.9758 (5 December 1969) p.8
Unsavoury, but gripping once the preliminaries are over and done with. Strong meat for strong stomachs. – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.432 (January 1970) p.15
What with Carroll Baker swallowing pills by the handful, being seduced under a shower, wandering round her villa in a state of permanent alcoholic stupor, and purring “Yes, dirty me, dirty me” as Lou Castel's muddy hands rip off her blouse during a midnight tryst in the bushes, this high gloss melodrama rings enough changes on an old theme to keep one watching right up to the grisly retribution of the finale, even if the dénouement is a trifle rushed. It might have been even more enjoyable – on its own low camp level – if Umberto Lenzi had not been so determined to match style to subject, with the camera deliriously sliding in and out of focus as the tormented lady totters down the stairs and every second scene shot from behind a bit of the furniture. Still, The dialogue is always colourful (“Forgive me, it's just my maternal instinct,” says Miss Baker after her sinister lover has peevishly rejected an offer of money), and there are incidental pleasures along the way, like the pair of dotty maiden aunts nonchalantly sipping tea and quite unaware that their niece's well-mannered house guests are drugging her drink and serving her live toad for dinner. – reviewer not credited

All text in this section © the relevant copyright holders


Cinema d'Oggi 17 February 1969 p.10 – note
Cinema d'Oggi 20 April 1970 p.10 – review
Films and Filming vol.16 no.6 (March 1970) p.44 – review
Guia de Filmes no.29 (September/October 1970) p.200 – credits, synopsis, review
The Hollywood Reporter vol.204 no.2 (20 December 1968) p.14 – note
The Hollywood Reporter vol.208 no.7 (10 October 1969) p.3 – credits, review
Intermezzo vol.24 no.5-6 (31 March 1969) p.6 – review
Kine Weekly no.3242 (29 November 1969) p.19 – review
Today's Cinema no.9758 (5 December 1969) p.8 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
Variety 6 November 1968 p.22 – note
Variety 27 August 1969 p.18 – credits, review

by Walt Lee p.358 – credits