The Fifth Cord

Watch The Fifth Cord

  • NR
  • 1971
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.6  (2,513)

The Fifth Cord, directed by Luigi Bazzoni, is a visually stylish and suspenseful Italian giallo from 1971. Based on the novel of the same name by D.M. Devine, the film stars Franco Nero as Andrea Bild, a hard-drinking and world-weary journalist who becomes embroiled in a perplexing murder case. The film opens with a taut scene of a drunken Bild wandering through a deserted Rome on New Year's Eve. He soon encounters a threatening figure in black leather gloves, who warns him ominously: "You have five cords to break before New Year's Day." This cryptic message sets the tone for the film, which is filled with brazen murders, red herrings, and psychological intrigue.

Bild's first assignment of the new year is to cover a lavish party thrown by a wealthy businessman named Vincenzo, who is celebrating the launch of his latest skyscraper. At the party, Bild meets a sultry fashion model named Helene (Silvia Monti) and reconnects with his former lover Lu (Barbara Bach), who is now married to a prominent doctor. Before the night is over, a brutal murder takes place and Bild finds himself inexplicably implicated in the crime.

Thus unfolds a complex and unpredictable plot, which sees Bild trying to clear his name while pursuing leads on his own. His investigations take him into a seedy world of blackmail, revenge, and sexual obsession, as he encounters a revolving cast of suspects and witnesses. Among them are a wealthy man with a secret vice, a wheelchair-bound photographer with a sordid past, and a disturbed young woman who may hold the key to the killer's identity.

As the body count rises, Bild becomes increasingly obsessed with solving the case and unmasking the murderer. Along the way, he confronts his own demons and struggles to keep his personal life from imploding. His investigation leads him down a twisted path filled with vividly realized dream sequences, hallucinatory nightmares, and stunning visuals. Shot in and around Rome, the film makes great use of the city's historic landmarks and striking architecture.

Franco Nero delivers a memorable performance as Bild, imbuing the character with a mix of cynicism, vulnerability, and hard-edged determination. He makes for a compelling antihero, one who is equal parts tough and flawed. Silvia Monti is also excellent as Helene, a woman who may be more than she seems. Her smoldering presence adds an extra layer of intrigue to the film.

The Fifth Cord's strengths lie in its stylish direction and intricate plotting. Bazzoni uses sharp editing, evocative music, and expressive visuals to craft a tense and atmospheric experience. The film's score, composed by Ennio Morricone, is a haunting mix of jazz and percussion, and it fits perfectly with the film's mood. The cinematography by Vittorio Storaro is equally impressive, with vibrant colors and bold compositions.

Overall, The Fifth Cord is a gripping thriller that will keep viewers guessing until the end. Its intricate puzzle of a plot and striking visuals make it one of the stronger examples of the giallo genre, and it's not to be missed by fans of suspenseful Italian cinema.

The Fifth Cord is a 1971 mystery with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

The Fifth Cord
Where to Watch The Fifth Cord
The Fifth Cord is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FlixFling, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Fifth Cord for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (2,513)