Sleepless (2001 film)

Sleepless (Italian: Non ho sonno) is a 2001 Italian giallo film directed by Dario Argento. The film stars Max von Sydow and Stefano Dionisi and marks Argento's return to the giallo subgenre. The film was another box office success when it opened in Italy, taking in over $5,019,733,505 lira ($3,280,080 US) by the end of its theatrical run.

Italian theatrical poster
Directed byDario Argento
Produced byDario Argento
Claudio Argento
Written byCarlo Lucarelli
Asia Argento ("The Animal Farm Rhyme")
Screenplay byDario Argento
Franco Ferrini
Story byDario Argento
Franco Ferrini
StarringMax von Sydow
Stefano Dionisi
Chiara Caselli
Roberto Zibetti
Gabriele Lavia
Music byGoblin
CinematographyRonnie Taylor
Edited byAnna Napoli
Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica
Medusa Produzione
Opera Film Produzione
Distributed byMedusa Distribuzione
Release date
5 January 2001
Running time
117 min.


Detective Ulisse Moretti (von Sydow) is investigating a series of murders in Turin in 1983, known as The Dwarf Murders. The main suspect, a giallo novelist named Vincenzo de Fabritiis, a person with dwarfism, turns up dead and the case is considered closed. However, seventeen years later, a similar series of murders begin and draw the since-retired Moretti back into the case. Moretti teams up with Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi), whose mother was murdered in the 1983 spree, to determine if de Fabritiis is still alive or was actually innocent of the crimes for which he was accused. As the murders continue, the investigating duo discovers that the murderer is arranging their murder to an old nursery rhyme about the killing of animals.


  • Max von Sydow as Ulisse Moretti
  • Stefano Dionisi as Giacomo Gallo
  • Chiara Caselli as Gloria
  • Roberto Zibetti as Lorenzo Betti
  • Gabriele Lavia as Dr. Betti
  • Paolo Maria Scalondro as Chief Inspector Manni
  • Rossella Falk as Laura de Fabritiis
  • Roberto Accornero as Fausto
  • Barbara Lerici as Angela
  • Guido Morbello as Young Detective
  • Massimo Sarchielli as Leone
  • Diego Casale as Beppe
  • Alessandra Comerio as Mrs. Betti
  • Elena Marchesini as Mel (Kitten)
  • Aldo Massasso as Detective Cascio
  • Conchita Puglisi as Amanda
  • Barbara Mautino as Dora (The Little Rabbit)
  • Luca Fagioli as Vincenzo de Fabritiis (the dwarf)
  • Daniela Fazzolari as Maria Luisa
  • Rossella Lucà as Mara

Critical reception

Sleepless received a mixed response from critics. On movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 50% based on ten reviews, and is certified "rotten".[1] BBC Online wrote, "If this movie commits one crime, it's that the rest of it is never quite as good as the bravura opening. Don't let your guard down, though, because there are some cruelly well executed set-pieces that are enrobed in a constant sense of dread."[2] AllMovie gave the film a generally negative review, writing, "this feels like an Argento retread – the murder mystery recalls his 1971 Cat o' Nine Tails a little too much, and the overly familiar horrific elements (pace, editing, music, screaming) have little impact."[3]

Alternate versions

The original US video release from Artisan Entertainment was heavily edited for content. Every murder sequence in the film was trimmed down for less graphic violence, including the decapitation murder of the ballet dancer which omits the image of the head hitting the floor. In all over a minute worth of footage was cut.

European DVD releases of the film are completely uncut.

The German 2013 Blu-ray edition is heavily censored, nearly three minutes shorter than the director's cut.


  1. "Non ho sonno (Sleepless) – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  2. Haflidason, Almar (7 February 2012). "BBC – Films – review – Sleepless (Non ho Sonno)". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  3. McClain, Buzz. "Sleepless – Review – AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
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