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Mill of the Stone Women

original title: Il Mulino delle donne di Pietra

Comparison:

  • French Version
  • Italian Version
Release: Nov 24, 2016 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the French Version and the Italian Version (both available on the German Blu-ray by Subkultur).

Journalist Hans von Arnim travels to a secluded mill near Amsterdam in order to write an article about Professor Gregorius Wahl's wax museum. During his research, he meets Elfie, the Professor's daughter, and falls for her. Since Elfie is suffering from some mysterious desease, her doctor (Dr. Loren Bohlem) is living there as well. Hans quickly realizes he made a mistake and tries to cut ties but Elfie is convinced that he is the one. Professor Wahl warns Hans that Elfie is in frail health and that she is not supposed to get upset in any way. When Hans tells her the truth, they fight and it seems as if Elfie dies. Hans feels guily about it but when he returns to the mill to tell the Professor, Elfie is alive. Hans can't seperate dream from reality anymore and has a meltdown. When one of the girls from the town disappears after seeing her tied up in the mill and when his girlfriend Liselotte also vanishes, he and his friend Ralf get to the mill and they intend to figure out whatever is going on there.

"Mill of the Stone Women" was the first Italian horror flick in color and it was released the same year Mario Bava's "Blasck Sunday" came out. Director Giorgio Ferroni made many westerns and sword and sandal films and except for his "Night of the Devils" from 1972, this is his only horror film. Kind of sad because both are quite suspenseful and because of the delusions that turn out to be real also connected in some way. A young Pierre Brice ends up in the mill - a unreal world of Professor Wahl and his wax museum which also happens to be in the mill. Ferroni takes advantage of this scenery and any time the wax figures are doing their thing, accompanied by a very fitting Carlo Innocenzi score I might add, the audience has the creeping horrors. Betraying his girlfriend Liselotte has consequences for Hans and Elfie's jealousy and alleged death temporarily drive him to insanity. The finale during which both Elfie's secret and the secret regarding the wax museum secret are being revealed is quite memorable.


The Versions:

Italian Version:

The Italian Version is the version director Giorgio Ferroni originally intended. And considering its length, it is also the longest version. The French Version contains a scene the French producers insisted on having in the film which also explains why the Italian Version lacks that very scene.

International Version:

Basically edited for the US and UK market, the International Version differs from the Italian Version. For instance, te International Version contains the art school sign in order to clear up the transition from the mill to that scene. The dream sequence showing Hans wandering around inside the mill, which by the way is also in the Italian Version, is shown at an earlier point here. Also, during the conversation with Dr. Bohlem, the image gets blurry to illustrate the influence of the meds Hans took. In the finale, several shots of the mill contains additional fog in order to make the scenery appear more suspenseful. Quite interesting is the fact that the scene that shows Liselotte getting gagged by Dr. Bohlem is a little shorter because one could partially see her breast. Elfie's letter has been replaced by an alternate shot that shows the letter written in English.

French Version:

The French Version is based on the Italian Version. However, several minutes of plot are missing - probably for pace reasons. What makes the French Version unique is the new scene particularly added for the French market. After class, Ralf and Liselotte are walking across a bridge with a barrel organ on it. Liselotte talks about her feelings for Hans and they both decide to pay Hans a visit at one of the shows at the wax museum inside the mill. Elfie's letter and Ralf's piece of art have been replaced by alternate footage with French texts.

German Theatrical Version:

The German Theatrical Version is probably just something for grindhouse fans. Based on the Italian Version, it is approx. 2 minutes shorter due to numerous jumpc-cuts and a shorter ending. The image has not been restored and that is quite obvious. Also, the opening credits and title are in German.


The Releases:

Mondo Macabro DVD (USA)

The US DVD by Mondo Macabro was the first DVD release worldwide. It is based on the International Version but the dream sequence has been reconstructed. The nipple scene when Liselotte gets gagged by Dr. Bohlem is in it as well. Both the scene from the French Version with Ralf and Liselotte on the bridge and the alternate dream sequence of the US Version are available in the bonus section.

NEW DVD (Germany)

The German DVD by NEW is also based on the International Version but contrary to the Mondo Macabro DVD, the dream sequence has not been changed. The nipple scene has been reconstructed though. The scene with Ralf and Liselotte on the bridge and the dream sequence from the Italian Version are both available in the bonus section of the DVD.

Subkultur Blu-ray (Germany)

The German Blu-ray by Subkultur contains the Italian, International, French and German Version. In other words, this is the first release ever with all the main versions being available which makes this Blu-ray highly recommendable. This is also the first time that the Italian Version has been released at all.



Running Times:

Italian Version: 95:42 min
International Version: 94:32 min
French Version: 89:51 min
German Theatrical Version: 92:48 min
[00:04:33][00:04:32]

The maid keeps locking the door, goes back and then vanishes behind the curtain.



Italian Version: 11 sec


[00:05:42][00:05:31]

Hans is walking inside the mill when the waxwork show begins all of a sudden. Professor Wahl shows up and demands that the figures should go faster.



Italian Version: 55 sec


[00:08:05][00:06:59]

Professor Wahl gives Hans a little background regarding the figures. They then go to his den.



Italian Version: 21 sec


[00:09:18][00:07:52]

Hans takes off his coat. Then Professor Wahl walking inside the mill in order to lock one of the doors. He stops in front of another door and calls for Selma. She opens and lets him know that Elfie was doing better and that she had just fallen asleep.



Italian Version: 53 sec


[00:10:42][00:08:23]

Alternate shot of the drawing with Ralf's text in the French Version.



3 sec each


[00:12:17][00:09:58]

The French Version lacks a shot of the mill.



Italian Version: 5 sec


[00:18:02][00:15:38]

Shot of the mill in the Italian Version.



The French Version contains a new scene instead.

Liselotte and Ralf are at a bridge. They can hear a barrel organ play. That reminds Liselotte of her childhood which is why she intends to take a closer look. Liselotte explains she used to be scared of dolls and that she had run away with Hans. She then tells Ralf she was still deeply in love with Hans but she could not tell if those feelings were mutual. Ralf suggests to not think about it anymore and visit Hans in the mill next Sunday instead because of some kind of public events.



Italian Version: 4 sec
French Version: 1:20 min


[00:20:11][00:19:03]

The shot of Elfie playing piano is longer.



Italian Version: 7 sec


[00:24:41][00:23:26]

The shot of the mill is longer plus the shot of the visitors on their way to the mill starts earlier.



Italian Version: 10 sec


[00:27:30][00:26:05]

Hans and Liselotte kiss longer. The subsequent shot of Elfie starts earlier as well.



Italian Version: 9 sec


[00:28:03][00:26:30]

In the Italian Version, Elfie writes the letter in Italian. Then the figures on stage and the audience.



The French Version contains alternate footage of Elfie writing the letter in French.



Italian Version: 46 sec
French Version: 23 sec


[00:31:03][00:29:07]

The shot of Professor Wahl is longer. Then Hans, Liselotte and Ralf earlier. Hans apologizes for having to work but he promises Liselotte that they were going to go to Dart together.



Italian Version: 12 sec


[00:38:44][00:36:35]

Longer black screen, followed by a shot of the ocean. The subsequent shot of the house starts earlier as well.



Italian Version: 19 sec


[00:39:53][00:37:24]

Hans gets off the boat and spots a funeral cortege. He then gets on the small boat that takes him to the mill.



Italian Version: 55 sec


[00:45:00][00:41:35]

In the Italian Version, the image gets blurry when Hans has drunken his medicine. In the French Version, this effect is missing.





6 sec each


[00:48:05][00:44:40]

Hans looks up and realizes that Dr. Bohlem was not in the room anymore. He takes a look around and notices the bloody knife stuck in the ground.



Italian Version: 20 sec


[00:56:15][00:52:30]

Dr. Bohlem longer and Hans earlier in the mill.



Italian Version: 7 sec


[00:59:41][00:55:48]

Professor Wahl wishes Hans to get well soon.



Italian Version: 4 sec


[01:00:55][00:56:58]

Konrad enters the room and says the car was good to go. Professor Wahl accompanies Hans outside and tells him not to tell anyone about the way he behaved. He wishes he got well soon and Hans and Konrad go outside.



Italian Version: 42 sec


[01:08:21][01:03:42]

A part of the blood transfusion is missing. Elfie is getting better and better while Annelore seems more and more cachectic.



Italian Version: 49 sec


[01:20:38][01:15:10]

Hans and Ralf consider that Hans alleged dream could have been real after all.



Italian Version: 19 sec


[01:35:31][01:29:44]

Slightly alternate shot of the burning mill.



6 sec each
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