Suspiria (1977)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

An American dancer in Germany finds out she is being trained by a coven of witches.


Genre

Horror, Supernatural

Characters/Groups

Suzy Bannion - Jessica Harper

Sara - Stefania Casini

Daniel - Flavio Bucci

Mark - Miguel Bose

Olga - Barbara Magnolfi

Sonia - Susanna Javicoli

Pat Hingle - Eva Axen

Professor Milius - Rudolf Schundler

Dr. Frank Mandel - Udo Kier

Miss Tanner - Alida Valli

Madame Blanc - Joan Bennett

Teacher - Margherita Horowitz

Albert - Jacopo Mariani

Taxi Driver - Fulvio Mingozzi

Cook - Franca Scagnetti

Professor Verdegast - Renato Scarpa

2nd Cook - Serafina Scorcelletti

Pavlos - Giuseppe Transocchi

Caroline - Renata Zamengo

Dancers - Alessandra Capozzi, Salvatore Capozzi, Diana Ferrara, Cristina Latini, Alfredo Raino' and Claudia Zaccari

Helena Markos - Lela Svasta

Police Inspector - Giovanni Di Bernardo

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

"Suzy Bannion decided to perfect her ballet studies in the most famous school of dance in Europe. She chose the celebrated Academy of Freiburg. One day at 9:00 in the morning, she left the Kennedy Airport in New York, and arrived in Germany at 10:40 p.m. local time."

Suzy walks outside of the airport into a storm. She gets a ride from Taxi Driver who takes her to the Academy of Freiburg. When she arrives, Pat Hingle is standing with the door open yelling at someone inside, before running away. Suzy tries to get inside and the person inside tells her to go away. She gets back into the taxi and sees Pat running in the woods. Pat goes to the apartment complex of Sonia, who tells her she can stay for as long as she wants. Pat says she is leaving in the morning and says it would be useless to explain why she is leaving the school. As Pat is staring out the window, she sees a pair of eyes staring back at her. An arm breaks into the room from the window and shoves Pat's head through the window. Sonia goes to the neighbor's apartment and asks for help as Pat is stabbed with a knife repeatedly. Her killer then ties a rope around her neck and shoves her through the glass ceiling towards the front entrance of the apartment complex and Sonia is killed when a piece of glass and building stab her through the chest and face.

Daniel and his seeing eye dog walk walk toward the academy and Daniel leaves his dog outside. Suzy walks inside as Miss Tanner says hello to Daniel. She sees Suzy and tells her she expected her last evening and Suzy explains what happened the night before. Miss Tanner tells Suzy she will be staying with Olga until her room is ready and introduces Suzy to Madame Blanc who is surrounded by police inspectors. Madame Blanc walks over and introduces herself and then tells Suzy about Pat, who she says was expelled the day before, and was murdered by someone, and that is why the inspectors are there. Suzy is taken on a tour of the academy by Miss Tanner. A Police Inspector confirms with Madame Blanc what time Pat left the academy and Suzy overhears and confirms that is when she saw Pat leave. Miss Tanner introduces Suzy to Pavlos and then takes Suzy into the locker room. Caroline tells Miss Tanner she has something to tell her. Miss Tanner introduces Suzy to the other dancers and says other students are also Americans, including Miriam. Olga makes fun of Caroline snitching to Miss Tanner and then introduces herself to Suzy. A Dancer offers to sell Suzy shoes if she wants to keep them, but Suzy says she would rather just borrow shoes for the day. Suzy meets Sara and Olga walks up to them and tells them she heard the names that start with the letter S is the names of snakes. That evening, Olga tells Suzy after she finishes the academy she has an offer at the State School of Ballet in Geneva. Mark brings Suzy's luggage to Olga's apartment. Olga gets off the phone and tells Suzy, Pat liked Mark, and Pat deserved to be kicked out.

The next day in class, the Dancers go through their routines. Madame Blanc walks in with Teacher and tells Suzy they have her room ready. Suzy tells her she would rather stay at Olga's which upsets Madame Blanc. As she is leaving the practice area, Suzy passes by Cook and Albert, who stare at her intensely as she shines an object that flashes Suzy in the face. Suzy suddenly becomes disorientated. In class, Miss Tanner gives a history on ballet. During practice, Suzy faints and bleeds from her nose and mouth. She is brought to a room next to Sara's where Miss Tanner and Teacher are forcing her to drink water on the order of Professor Verdegast. Madame Blanc walks in and Professor Verdegast injects something into Suzy's arm. Madame Blanc tells her, Olga brought her bags from her apartment for Suzy. Sara comes in to talk with Suzy. Pavlos brings Suzy her dinner and she notices him pick up and stare at Sara's fancy lighter. Something starts falling from the ceiling and Suzy realizes it is maggots. The students run out of their rooms and Miss Tanner tells them to go downstairs as she goes into the attic with Mark. She breaks open a crate of food and finds it full of maggots. Madame Blanc apologizes and Teacher tells them the maggots only affected the floor where the students are staying. Madame Blanc tells the students they will be sleeping in the dance hall. Mark blows a kiss to Suzy and Caroline tells her she heard he was gay and Sara defends Suzy. During the night a loud sigh echos through the room and a shadowed body comes and sleeps in an empty bed just outside the curtains placed around the sleeping area. Sara wakes up Suzy and tells her the teachers lied and the person in the bed is the Directress, Helena Markos. She tells Suzy she used to live in another room and someone late in the night would go the room next to hers and snore loudly and the noise is exactly the same.

The next day, as the Cook and Albert are walking towards the Academy, Daniel's dog growls at them. Miss Tanner storms into the dance hall and tells Daniel, his dog bit Albert and he is fired. Before leaving he tells Miss Tanner that he knows what they are doing at the school. In the evening, Sara notices the teacher's footprints leaving, but Suzy notices they are heading in the wrong direction from the exit. Sara starts writing down the footstep count and pauses. Daniel leaves a bar and as he enters an empty plaza area, his dog starts to whine and bark. Daniel calls out "whose there" and shadows appear in the night. His dog suddenly turns on him and attacks and kills him. Word of Daniel's death gets back to the school and Suzy tells Madame Blanc more of what she heard when Pat left the academy. Sara admits to Suzy that it was her that told Suzy to leave the night Pat left. She tells her Pat was keeping notes on all of the strange things happening at the academy and gave Sara her notes and Sara only told one other person, her friend Dr. Frank Mandel. Sara tries to wake up Suzy to tell her someone stole Pat's notes and hands Suzy the notes she took on the teacher's movements. Suzy passes out and Sara runs out of her room to try and escape. She finds the main door locked and climbs a ladder to the attic. She finds a secret door and is stabbed and runs into the secret room. She climbs through a small window and lands into a room full of barbed wire and is stabbed and killed when someone slashes her throat.

The next day, Suzy wakes up and finds Sara's room empty and Miss Tanner tells her Sara disappeared in the morning with all her luggage. Suzy calls Dr. Mandel and asks if he knows where Sara is. Suzy meets Dr. Mandel at the Sixth Meeting on New Studies in Psychiatry and Psychology conference. He tells her, he called Sara's father, but he wasn't home. He tells her, Pat had discovered the Tam Academy had been founded in 1895 by a Greek immigrant named Helena Markos and the locals thought she was a witch. He continues with the history of Helena Markos and how she had been expelled from several European countries and went by the name, the Black Queen. He finishes by telling her Markos died in a fire in 1905 and introduces her to Professor Milius. Suzy asks Professor Milius about witches and he tells her witches are evil and destructive and their goal is to accumulate wealth, which comes at the price of misery to others. He tells her more about Markos and the power of covens and their weakness. That evening, Suzy finds out the other students went to the theater. She tries to call Dr. Mandel, but the call goes dead. She dumps her food down the toilet and after opening a door, a bat attacks her. She kills the bat and finds the note Sara hid with the count of the teacher's footsteps.

She uses the notes to enter a hallway that goes past the kitchen. As she sneaks by, Cook and 2nd Cook hear her, but she manages to slip by them. She comes to a room with carpet and walls painted in floral designs and remembers Pat talking about turning the blue iris. She turns the iris and enters a hallway with words painted on the walls. She overhears some voices that mention coming to a decision and Madame Blanc says they must get rid of Suzy. Miss Tanner tells Madame Blanc, Suzy didn't eat her food or drink her wine that evening and Madame Blanc insists Suzy must die. Madame Blanc asks Markos to giver her power and starts instilling Suzy with sickness, Albert sees Suzy outside the door and whispers to Pavlos. Suzy finds the body of Sara and Pavlos pulls out Sara's lighter and starts to walk towards Suzy. She hides in a room and hears loud laborious breathing. She knocks over a statue which wakes up Markos. Markos accuses Suzy of coming to kill her and when Suzy pulls back the bed curtain there is no one visible. Markos calls forth the living dead and the body of Sara walks towards Suzy holding a knife. Suzy sees a temporary outline of Markos and stabs her in the throat with a pointy glass object, killing Markos. Sara's body disappears and the building starts to fall apart. Suzy runs outside the room and sees Madame Blanc and the other witches choking to death along with Pavlos. She makes it outside of the building in the rain and laughs in relief.