Great Italian Films: Don’t Look Now

This is No.3 in a series of eight of the most memorable starring roles, up next is the cult classic ‘Don’t Look Now’ featuring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie



Don’t Look Now

(1973, Venice, directed by Nicholas Roeg. Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie)

Daphne du Maurier’s dark novels have inspired a number of spine-chilling yet highly-acclaimed film adaptations. Since its release in 1973, Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now has become recognised as a cult classic, and is as terrifying as it is artistically brilliant. Aside from the opening sequence in which the protagonist’s daughter tragically drowns in a pond in their British country home, the majority of the film is set in Venice. The film stars Donald Sutherland as the father tormented by recurring visions of his deceased daughter. A world apart from the tourist board Venice we know and love, the gloomy mist that prevails over La Serenissima creates a haunting atmospheric setting, and evokes a discomforting sense of impending doom.


Venice’s alleys and network of canals make the ideal setting for the filming of Don’t Look Now. Glimpses of the haunting red trench coat dashing over the arched bridges, and flashes of a hooded presence in window frames, are truly chilling. The fictitious Hotel Europa, where the couple stay, is a combination of two luxury Venice hotels. The exterior and lobby of Hotel Gabrielli Sandwirth (, Castello 4110, Riva degli Schivoni, +39 041 523 1580) features along with the Bauer Grunwald (, San Marco 1459, +39 041 520 7022) which was used for the interior shots – including the famously realistic sex scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. Among other notable landmarks is San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, which is one of the oldest churches in Venice.

Watch the trailer for Don’t Look Now:

Read our other film reviews:

Great Italian Films: Roman Holiday

Great Italian Films: The Italian Job