The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (Italian: Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh, originally released as Blade of the Ripper in the United States) is a 1971 giallo murder mystery film directed by Sergio Martino. It is his first entry in the giallo subgenre. The letter "h" was added to the name "Ward" when an Italian woman named Mrs. Ward threatened legal action over the original title's potentially damaging her good name, just before the film was released. The film was also known as Next! or The Next Victim.

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh
Italian film poster
Directed bySergio Martino
Produced byLuciano Martino
Antonio Crescenzi
Screenplay byEduardo Manzanos Brochero
Ernesto Gastaldi
Vittorio Caronia
Story byEduardo Manzanos Brochero
StarringGeorge Hilton
Edwige Fenech
Conchita Airoldi
Manuel Gil
Carlo Alighiero
Ivan Rassimov
Alberto de Mendoza
Music byNora Orlandi
CinematographyEmilio Foriscot
Edited byEugenio Alabiso
Devon Film
Copercines Cooperativa Cinematogr√°fica
Distributed byInterfilm
Release date
15 January 1971
Running time
100 minutes
Box officeESP 15,193,058 (Spain)


In Vienna there is a series of murders, committed by an unknown killer. Julie Wardh, a mentally fragile American socialite and heiress to the Wardh's retailing fortune, is targeted by this unknown assassin through blackmail letters. Julie suspects her ex-lover Jean to be the man behind the letters but does not wish to confide in her husband Neil. Instead Julie falls for, and confides in, a cavalier by the name of George whom she takes as her new lover. As events unfold Julie is reminded of her past sadomasochistic love affair with Jean. All the while suspicions are raised against both George and Neil as the possible culprits. Who is the killer and what does he want from Julie?


  • Edwige Fenech... Julie Wardh
  • George Hilton ... George Corro
  • Conchita Airoldi ... Carol Brandt (as Cristina Airoldi)
  • Ivan Rassimov ... Jean
  • Manuel Gil ... Dr. Harbe (as Maurice Gillas Pou)
  • Carlo Alighiero ... Commissioner
  • Alberto de Mendoza ... Neil Wardh
  • Marella Corbi ... Victim who escaped from the killer
  • Miguel del Castillo ... Medico Spagnolo
  • Luis de Tejada ... The inspector
  • Pouchi ... Victim in the shower (as Pouchie)

Critical reception

AllMovie wrote, "Sergio Martino's first entry into Italy's giallo genre delivers everything this style of thriller requires and then some", calling it "a skillful example of how the giallo can be a head-spinning experience in style over substance."[1]

See also


  1. Guarisco, Donald. "Blade of the Ripper - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 1 August 2012.

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