The Man Without a Memory (1974)

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German title The man with no memory
Original title L'uomo senza memoria
Country of production Italy
original language Italian
Publishing year 1974
length 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Duccio Tessari
script Duccio Tessari,
Bruno di Geronimo ,
Ernesto Gastaldi
music Gianni Ferrio
camera Giulio Albonico
cut Mario Morra

The man without memory (original title: L'uomo senza memoria ) is an Italian thriller by Duccio Tessari with Senta Berger from 1974.


Peter Smith, who lost his memory in a car accident in London , is alleged in his hotel room by a gangster named Philip that he is also a criminal who tries to steal a million dollars from his clients under the pretext of amnesia . Peter swears to tell the truth, and Philip tells him that his real name is Ted and that he has been married to an American named Sara for two years. When Philip draws a gun, he is shot through a window. After Peter or Ted receives a telegram from Sara shortly afterwards, he hides Philips' body in a bed cabinet.

Sara, who works as a swimming instructor in Portofino , is overwhelmed by a stranger one evening in her house. The next day, her house was trashed and a police officer asked her questions. She then meets with the sports doctor Daniel to go to the cinema with him. On the way she found out by telegram that Ted would come to her in Portofino. She is surprised that Ted disappeared without a trace in London almost a year ago, and at first doesn't believe him when he doesn't recognize her at the train station. Sara tells him in her house how they once met in New York and lived in London shortly after they were married, but they never actually knew anything about his work. They moved to Portofino a few years ago. Daniel, who works as a doctor at the sports center where she gives swimming lessons, is just a good friend. Ted now also learns that it wasn't Sara who sent him the telegram to London.

After a visit to the swimming pool, Ted meets a man named George who had previously stalked him. Like Philip, Ted demands the one million dollars back from Ted. He also admits to having killed Philip. When Sara returns home from a boat trip with Ted, she finds her beloved wire-haired dachshund Whiskey with her throat cut on her bed. In light of this, Ted remembers a man's throat being cut. As they bury whiskey in the garden in the evening, George appears. Ted runs after him, but can't catch up with him. On the way, Ted meets an American who seems to know him and kisses him. George, meanwhile, lies in wait for Sara in her house to tell her that he is giving Ted a week to raise the money - or that he and Ted would be as good as dead. When Ted finally returns, he and Sara briefly get closer . The following night Sara hears a door creak. A storm rages and a window opens. She closes it, whereupon she discovers a bloody knife on a door. When Ted sees the knife, he has another déjà vu . The next day he meets George again. With a gun in hand, he demands from Ted the one million dollars and also the heroin with which the money should be obtained.

About to move to New York with Ted, Sara decides to quit her job in Portofino. When she leaves the swimming pool with Daniel, she is hit by the American who had previously made advances to Ted. Daniel then puts a plaster cast around Sara's injured leg. While Ted meets up with George again, the boy next door, Luca, drops in with Sara with a photo album to show her his self-made pictures. In one picture the American can be seen together with Daniel. While Ted and George begin to fight, Sara calls insurance and asks about Mary Caine, the American who hit them. However, the insurance company does not know this, which is why Sara suspiciously cuts open her cast and finds the heroin in it, which she was supposed to smuggle into New York without her knowledge.

Meanwhile, George falls down an abyss, whereupon Ted is knocked down with a stone and then tied up in a building. When Ted regains consciousness there, he remembers a piece of his past again. It was Daniel who cut a man's throat and was behind the drug business. When Daniel rings Sara's doorbell, Luca is supposed to go and hide the packaged heroin between his toys. Sara, meanwhile, hides her leg without a cast under a blanket. However, Daniel finds a piece of plaster and pulls the blanket off her. When he threatens her with a razor, Luca comes back with a toy truck. Sara tells him to leave and tells Daniel that the heroin is hidden in the truck. When she tries to call the police on the phone, Daniel attacks her and injures her arm and back. However, she manages to lock herself in the kitchen, where she picks up the chainsaw her gardener had previously used. When Sara tries to keep Daniel in check with the chainsaw, she falls over a chair and is finally in his control again. Ted, who managed to break free, walks in through the door and apparently has all his memory back. He says very calmly that he wants to make a deal with Daniel. Suddenly he attacks Daniel and pulls the carpet from under his feet, so that Daniel falls on the still running chainsaw and is torn to pieces. Shortly afterwards Luca returns with the policeman and Ted is ready to report on everything that has happened.


The port of Portofino, a location in the film

The film was shot at the original locations in Portofino , among others .

The world premiere of The Man Without Memory took place on August 23, 1974 in Italy . In Germany the film was released on June 19, 1975. The German television premiere took place on October 4, 1985 on RTL plus . In 2008 the film was released on DVD.


For the lexicon of international films , The Man Without Memory was "a poor thriller that replaces lack of tension with cruelty". According to TV Spielfilm , it is a "well-acted story" that can come up with "gripping moments and a strikingly violent finale". “An often surprisingly brutal thriller chamber play with a small cast, in which Senta Berger surpasses all others in terms of beauty and acting talent,” said genre expert Karsten Thurau in his book Der Terror directed .


German version

role actor Voice actor
Sara Grimaldi Senta Berger Senta Berger
Edward Luc Merenda Thomas Danneberg
Daniel Umberto Orsini Manfred Schott
Mary Caine Anita Strindberg Helga Trümper
George Bruno Corazzari Tommi Piper
police officer Rosario Borelli Mogens von Gadow
Philip Manfred Freyberger Norbert Gastell
Dr. Archibald T. Wildgate Tom Felleghy Eberhard Mondry
Luca Duilio Cruciani Florian Halm

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The man without a memory. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. cf.
  3. Michael Cholewa, Karsten Thurau: The Terror directs. The Italian gangster and police film 1968−1982 . Mpw, 2nd edition, 2008, ISBN 978-3-931608-91-0 , p. 136.
  4. The man without a memory. In: German dubbing file , accessed on March 2, 2017 .