"Una jena in cassaforte", known in English as "A Hyena in the Safe", is an intriguing 1968 Italian thriller directed by Cesare Canevari. It's a film that has remained somewhat under the radar for international audiences, yet offers a notable contribution to the genre of European thrillers popular during its era.
The film revolves around a group of criminals who, after successfully robbing a jewel merchant, find themselves in a web of deceit, betrayal, and murder. The story masterfully plays with tropes of the genre, infusing it with a sense of suspense and unpredictability that keeps the audience guessing throughout.
Canevari’s direction stands out in the movie. His knack for crafting suspenseful scenes and unexpected plot twists is evident throughout the film. The cinematography, with its well-composed shots and effective use of light and shadow, enhances the overall mood of mystery and tension.
The performances of the cast, including George Ardisson, Helga Liné, and Jack Taylor, are solid, each adding to the suspense and intrigue of the story. Their characters are distinct, layered, and they contribute to the movie's gripping atmosphere.
On the downside, "Una jena in cassaforte" might come across as confusing or hard to follow due to its intricate plot. Moreover, its relatively low-budget production value might not appeal to those accustomed to more polished Hollywood thrillers.
The film's score, composed by the gifted Piero Umiliani, provides a moody backdrop that enhances the film's atmospheric tension. It's a testament to Umiliani's ability to underscore a film's tone and mood effectively.
In conclusion, "Una jena in cassaforte" is a worthwhile watch for fans of European thrillers. Despite some shortcomings, it is a well-crafted film that effectively utilizes the genre's conventions to deliver a suspenseful and intriguing story.