Plot & Details
Unhappy neighbors hatch a homicidal scheme, then turn on each other in this Italian thriller similar to Strangers on a Train (1951). Vincenzo Persico (Rolando Ravello) is a miserable man. Despite graduating from college six years ago, he can't land a teaching position, so he's forced to live in humiliation with his mother, a pensioner. Vincenzo's neighbor, the 70-year-old Bartoloni (Alberto Sordi) is in a similar position. His wife, once a gorgeous artist, is now an obese, abusive alcoholic. One night Bartoloni gets Vincenzo drunk and makes him a proposition -- he'll pay him a large sum of money if the young man will kill his wife. The intoxicated Vincenzo doesn't agree, but the offer plagues his mind. Not long after, Mrs. Bartoloni is killed in a fall from her balcony. When her husband discovers his money missing, he assumes that Vincenzo is responsible. At the same time, Vincenzo claims to have landed a job, buying his mother gifts and taking his girlfriend out dancing. Bartoloni betrays Vincenzo, accusing him of murder. Arrested, Vincenzo unemotionally claims his innocence. The police investigation reveals Bartoloni's love for another woman, leaving them baffled over a case that had seemed to be an accident.