The Card Player
|The Card Player|
Italian theatrical poster
|Directed by||Dario Argento|
|Produced by||Dario Argento
|Written by||Jay Benedict
|Screenplay by||Dario Argento
|Story by||Dario Argento
|Music by||Claudio Simonetti|
|Edited by||Walter Fasano|
|Distributed by||Medusa Produzione|
|2 January 2004|
|Box office||€2,713,882 (Italy; as of 18 January 2004)|
The Card Player (Italian: Il cartaio) is a 2004 giallo film directed by Dario Argento. The film stars Stefania Rocca and Liam Cunningham and is Argento's second giallo feature of the decade (following Sleepless).
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The film centers around a serial killer known as "The Card Player", who is kidnapping young women in Rome. Using a webcam set-up, the killer challenges the police by forcing them to play hands of Internet poker. If the police lose, the kidnapped victim is tortured and murdered on-screen. When a British tourist is among the girls murdered, policeman John Brennan (Cunningham) is assigned the case and quickly teams up with Italian detective Anna Mari (Rocca). The duo have their work cut out for them when the Police Chief's daughter (Argento) becomes the killer's latest kidnapping victim.
- Stefania Rocca as Anna Mari
- Liam Cunningham as John Brennan
- Silvio Muccino as Remo
- Adalberto Maria Merli as the Police Commissioner
- Fiore Argento as Lucia Marini
- Cosimo Fusco as Berardelli
- Mia Benedetta as Francesca
- Giovanni Visentin as C.I.D. Chief
- Verra Gemma as Third Victim
The Card Player received a negative response from critics. The film has an approval rating of 20% on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on ten reviews. The New York Times wrote, "The Card Player [...] doesn't break the unhappy streak of his [Argento's] later films. Though it's based on a promisingly outrageous premise [...] the film unfolds as a tired, thoroughly conventional police procedural that might as well be titled CSI: Roma." AllMovie's review was unfavorable, writing, "The Card Player offers a fair amount of suspense and at least one memorable set piece, but for those even remotely familiar with Argento's canon, there's the feeling that it's all been done before – and handled with much more style and confidence." Maitland McDonagh also gave the film a negative review, criticizing the screenplay for being "perfunctory" and for going "to so little trouble to hide the killer's identity that even inattentive viewers will know who's to blame long before the police figure it out."
- "Il Cartaoi (The Card Player) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Kehr, Dave (6 October 2004). "The Game Is Poker; The Stakes Are Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Buchanan, Jason. "The Card Player - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- McDonagh, Maitland (2004). "The Card Player - Review - TV Guide". TV Guide. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
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