The Vanzina brothers first thriller, part Hitchcock, part Argento, but with its own distinct style.
Carole Bouquet is the beautiful, fascinating and mysterious object of desire.
After having beaten the competition with both the unsophisticated comedy of Diego Abatantuono and the more delicately nostalgic humour of Sapore di mare (a short time later, they would practically invent a whole new genre with Vacanze di Natale), the award-winning Vanzina brothers tried their hand at a thriller. In some ways Mystère is a wonderfully accomplished dress rehearsal for their next film, the hugely successful Sotto il vestito niente. The Vanzina brothers allow themselves to be influenced by both Alfred Hitchcock and Dario Argento, but make sure their work has its own distinct style. It is an intelligent hybrid of murder and glamour, supported by a finely tuned script. The plot revolves around a high-class prostitute who hangs out on a Via Veneto that feels like Fellini is still shooting there. She is Carole Bouquet, a mysterious object of desire that illuminates the film with her unsettling ambiguity from the first frame to the last.
Because of a cigarette lighter, high-class prostitute Mystère becomes entangled in two murders and also finds that her own life is at risk, however she is saved by a detective. There is a microfilm hidden inside the lighter that contains images of an attack. The microfilm is wanted by Criminalpol. The detective hands it over in exchange for a large sum of money: he takes the cash and flees. Mystère manages to track him down, and doesn’t have much trouble convincing him to share his life and the loot with her.