Release dateApril 3, 1964 WriterMassimo DAvak (screenplay), David P. Harmon (screenplay), Doris Hume Kilburn (novel) Initial releaseFebruary 5, 1964 (New York City) DirectorsVittorio Sala, George Marshall Music directorAngelo Francesco Lavagnino ScreenplayDavid P. Harmon, Massimo DAvack CastShirley Jones (Karen Williams), Rossano Brazzi (Count Paolo Barbarelli), George Sanders (Raymond Fontaine), Giorgia Moll (Cora Barbarelli), Micheline Presle (Monique Bouvier), Emma Baron (Gregoria) Similar moviesThe Legend of Hell House, The Beast Must Die, Lawless, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Power and the Glory, Less Than Zero
TaglineTwo Great Stars in a New Picture-Of Love and Suspense!
Dark Purpose is a 1964 film directed by George Marshall and starring Shirley Jones, Rossano Brazzi, and George Sanders.
American secretary Karen Williams travels to Italy with her employer, art appraiser Raymond Fountaine, to assess the valuable collection of Count Paolo Barbarelli at his villa overlooking the sea.
The count lives there with Cora, a young woman suffering from memory loss, whom he claims to have taken in like a daughter after her skiing accident. Karen falls in love with the count, but Cora wants her gone. She later confides to Karen that she is not Paolo's daughter but his wife. He is slowly poisoning her so he ultimately can inherit her family's money, Cora says, but Karen isn't sure whether to believe her story.
Cora is found dead. The police believe it to be a suicide, but evidence at the scene leads Karen to believe that Paolo was indeed responsible for the young woman's death. It leads to a confrontation and violent struggle. A vicious watchdog tries to protect his master, but instead knocks Paolo into a fountain, where he drowns.