Strange Shadows in an Empty Room

Strange Shadows in an Empty Room
Strange Shadows in an Empty Room.jpg
Directed byAlberto De Martino
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Vincenzo Mannino
  • Gianfranco Clerici[1]
Produced byEdmondo Amati[1]
CinematographyAristide Massaccesi[1]
Edited byVincenzo Tomassi[1]
Music byArmando Trovajoli[1]
  • Security Investment Trust
  • Fida Cinematografica[1]
Distributed byFida
Release date
  • March 9, 1976 (1976-03-09) (Italy)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
  • Italy
  • Panama[1]

Strange Shadows in an Empty Room (Italian: Una magnum special per Tony Saitta) is a 1976 film starring Stuart Whitman as a tough Dirty Harry type who sets out to discover his sister's killer.[1]


A tough cop learns that his sister was poisoned, and puts the alleged murderer in jail. Later he begins to doubt the suspect was the guilty party, and sets out to discover the real killer.



Strange Shadows in an Empty Room was shot in Ottawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec in Canada.[1] Director Alberto de Martino stated that Stuart Whitman agreed to do the film to have work outside of Hollywood.[2] For the car chase in the film, de Martino did not use storyboards, stating he can't draw and was more influenced by his love of jazz music, starting in the background and improvising as he went along.[2]


Roberto Curti describes the film as "essentially a whodunnit of sorts, with the inclusion of the odd [Dario] Argento-like detail". He also notes that film has "very little to do with Italian poliziotteschi of the period".[3]


Strange Shadows in an Empty Room was released in Italy on March 9, 1976, where it was distributed by Fida.[1] The film has been released with different titles in other English-speaking countries such as Blazing Magnum in the United Kingdom.[1] Director De Martino stated that the film was based on an old story he had, titled D come Delitto (M for Murder) which he re-arranged slightly.[3] After finishing it, a producer for the film sent a telegram to De Martino, which he claims it stated that "It's got nothing to envy in any American film."[3]


In a retrospective review, AllMovie stated that the film has "plenty of slick visuals and action but makes little sense: The script is a chaotic jumble of half-baked mystery" and that it is "never convincing or believable for a second and is further hurt by a lack of sympathetic characters". The review concluded that Strange Shadows in an Empty Room can only be recommended to hardcore Eurotrash buffs."[4]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Curti 2013, p. 196.
  2. ^ a b Ercolani 2019, p. 104.
  3. ^ a b c Curti 2013, p. 197.
  4. ^ Guarisco, Donald. "Blazing Magnum (1976)". AllMovie. Retrieved October 11, 2016.


  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786469765.
  • Ercolani, Eugenio (2019). Darkening the Italian Screen: Interviews with Genre and Exploitation Directors Who Debuted in the 1950s and 1960s. McFarland. ISBN 978-1476667386.

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