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

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.[citation needed]


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 Gallo (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.

Ultimately it's discovered that Lorenzo is the murderer and that he had begun killing while he was just a child, hence why de Fabritiis was suspected due to the similarity in height. Lorenzo also reveals that the only reason the murders stopped was because he had traveled to another country where he continued murdering according to the nursery rhyme.


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]


The film was first released in cinemas in its native country of Italy on 5 January 2001. Later that year, Sleepless was released in the United States in limited theaters on 24 August 2001 from Artisan Entertainment before shortly being released on home video formats in the winter.

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. A US DVD was also put out by Arisan of an unrated and fully uncut version with all the gore intact.

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.