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Perversion Story / One on Top of the Other

original title: Una sull'altra

Comparison:

  • French Version
  • Composite Version
Release: Feb 05, 2019 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Asphyxia - external link: IMDB
The French version (US DVD by Severin) was compared with the Composite version (US BD by Mondo Macabro).

Doctor George Dumurrier runs a private clinic with his brother, Henry, which is currently in financial difficulties. In his private life, George has further problems. His wife Susan is suffering from asthma and is becoming more and more isolated from him. Susan's care is taken over by her sister Marta and an employed nurse. In addition, George has an affair with Jane, who assists photographer Larry. Jane keeps asking for proof that George is serious about her. When George takes Jane on a trip to Reno one day, he gets the message from Henry that his wife has died. From an insurance policy, which Susan closed a deal without his knowledge, he gets a large sum of money to save the clinic. George finds this strange, then he receives an anonymous phone call, which advises him to go to a certain nightclub. When he visits the club with Jane, he sees the stripper Monica Weston, who looks very similar to Susan except her hair and eye colour. Fascinated by her, he begins an affair, which becomes his downfall. Monica, who claims to have been hired by a woman named Betty as a double for Susan, is arrested by the police. When the police find a money envelope with Georges fingerprints on in Monica's apartment, George ends up on death row under suspicion of having killed his wife. The evidence is overwhelming, but only Jane believes in his innocence. Can she still save George?

That Lucio Fulci could directing exciting thrillers besides his Gore escapades he proves not only with A Lizard in a Woman's Skin but also with One on Top of the Other. The confusion about Susan's death and the sudden appearance of a doppelganger/double remains exciting until the end and is excellently cast with Marisa Mell in the double role and Jean Sorel.

I am familiar with two different versions of the film: The Italian and the French version. Each of the versions has scenes that are missing in the other, so the Italian version shows scenes that are missing in the French version, but the French version offers erotic scenes that are not included in the Italian version. One on Top of the Other was first published in the USA by Severin Films on DVD under the title Perversion Story. It contains the French cut version, which was later also distributed in Germany and Austria by X-Rated and Edition Tonfilm on DVD. The additional scenes did not make it into the film in the German-language editions, but at least into the bonus material.
On Blu-ray by Mondo Macabro, the Composite version of the film, in which all the material is included, appeared for the first time. The basis was apparently the same transfer that was used for the Severin DVD. The scenes of the Italian version were scanned from a 35mm negative print and re-integrated. Qualitatively the scenes vary a little bit. Somewhat strange is that in scene extensions, the complete scene of the 35mm print was used although better film material from the print of the French version would have been available. They probably wanted to spare the viewer a sudden drop in image quality within a scene.
Qualitatively the Blu-ray is better than the DVD, although the jump is a bit smaller than hoped for. The DVD from Severin was quite good. The extended action scenes give the film more depth but are not absolutely necessary for understanding. The Blu-ray is particularly convincing because of the extensive bonus material with interviews by Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli, and Stephen Thrower gives further insights into the production history of the film.

Running times:

US DVD: 97:16 min.
US BD: 107:53 min.
[00:03:23][00:03:13]

Dr. George Dumurrier stresses that Philip Holden is not a doctor, but very wealthy and would like to meet him today. The newspaper report was only made to get his money.



Then the following scenes of George driving his car through San Francisco. Finally he arrives at the villa. Susan watches him.



The camera panning through the room begins a bit earlier.



BD: 2:17 min.


[00:14:35][00:16:42]

After Jane was surprised by George at the station, a new scene follows:

George and Jane drive in the car towards Reno. Jane wants to know what to do with them. She says that the day will come when George won't wait at the station anymore. George says that they will find a solution.



They're both driving through Reno.



Finally you see George getting a letter handed out at the casino.



BD: 1:00 min.


[00:15:29][00:18:35]

After George finds out about his wife's death, he travels back to San Francisco with Jane. In the car he remembers a sailing trip with Susan when Jane gave him a cigarette. He thinks it was a long time ago. Jane leans against him as it starts raining outside.



BD: 55 sec.


[00:21:35][00:25:36]

George tells Henry it was a bad marriage between him and Susan. They hardly talked to each other and Susan often locked herself up in her room. Henry says he knew no one was allowed upstairs. A nurse tells Henry that a call is waiting for him.



BD: 23 sec.


[00:50:35][00:54:59]

Monica tells the cops that it wasn't her fault. Betty told her that Susan was suffering from a serious illness and that it makes no difference whether she lives or dies. The policeman says that it does make a difference to the insurance company.



The policemen talk about Monica's confession, who claims that the mysterious Betty is behind it. She can't give an exact description, as Betty is said to have always worn sunglasses and a wig. Monica received 20,000 dollars from Betty. They both talk about George, who benefits from the death of his wife. They come to speak of Susan's death, which was caused by her asthma. This astonishes them somewhat, as asthma is not usually fatal, unless it comes to a very rare suffocation. George as a doctor should have known about it.



The policeman's questioning George. He finds it strange that the two women are so similar. George says that a mysterious call led him to Monica. The policeman doesn't believe George, who countered that he could have come up with a much better story in case of a fraud. The policeman asks George if he has ever considered that his wife might have been murdered. He tells him that Susan's body has to be exhumed to investigate a potential homicide.



BD: 2:34 min.


[00:55:03][01:02:00]

Before Benjamin goes to Monica, the following scene is missing.

A policeman is on the phone. It's about a missing dog case. Benjamin walks up to him and says that he would take over the bail for Monica. He asks who took over the bail because he raised so much money. The policeman says that he should be happy that he has the money now.



BD: 54 sec.


[01:07:02][01:14:53]

Three cops are going to Monica's apartment. They notice that the door is already open and meet Benjamin there. He searches for something between pieces of paper on the floor. One of the policemen says that he should give him the key. Benjamin leaves the apartment. Another policeman asks if they should question him, but the black policeman says that he could only tell them that Monica ruined his life. Two policemen leave the apartment. There is one who thinks the FBI and Interpol might show up if Monica has left the state.



BD: 1:27 min.


[01:21:08][01:30:26]

The scene with the two lawyers goes on a bit further. The prosecutor keeps thinking about what would happen if Henry was actually guilty. In this case the victim would be the perpetrator and the perpetrator innocent. He tells George's lawyer Arthur that it's now up to him to prove his thesis and he can only give him a 24-hour delay.



The scene in the police office starts a bit earlier. One of the policemen asks the man how he knew she was inside.



BD: 1:18 min.