Revolver (1973) (NTSC)

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Released 25-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Revolver: Calling The Shots
Theatrical Trailer-2
Radio Spots-2
Gallery-Posters And Stills
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Easter Egg-2
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1973
Running Time 109:31
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sergio Sollima
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring Oliver Reed
Fabio Testi
Paola Pitagora
Agostina Belli
Frédéric de Pasquale
Marc Mazza
Reinhard Kolldehoff
Bernard Giraudeau
Peter Berling
Gunnar Warner
Daniel Beretta
Calisto Calisti
Steffen Zacharias
Case ?
RPI $21.95 Music Daniel Beretta
Ennio Morricone


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Vito Cipriani (Oliver Reed) is the governor of a prison in Milan. He has a beautiful young wife Anna (Agostina Belli), but one day he returns home to find her missing. A phone call informs him that she has been kidnapped and the ransom is to release one of the inmates. The inmate in question is Milo Ruiz (Fabio Testi).

    After a little bit of soul-searching Vito decides to co-operate. He engineers Milo's escape, but when he later confronts him discovers that Milo has no idea who would want him out of prison. After a bungled attempt to track the kidnappers results in the death of one of his colleagues, Vito reluctantly enlists Milo to help him find the kidnappers and rescue his wife.

    After the spaghetti western genre played itself out during the 1960s, the following decade saw a similarly prolific series of crime and political thrillers, reflecting the general view that authority in Italy and throughout Europe was tainted with corruption. Unlike the westerns, these movies received less international attention and have yet to be the subject of a general reappraisal. They fall into a large body of Italian films which have been given the generic name of giallo, from the Italian for "yellow" - the term comes from pulp paperback books of the inter-war years which were printed with yellow covers. However the giallo is generally represented outside Italy by the horror and murder-mystery genres, the latter often involving a slasher-killer of the type that would later become popular in American cinema.

    Revolver crosses the boundaries of the violent crime film to include an examination of corruption in the halls of power, though the emphasis for most of the running time is on the former. It is very violent though without the gore (and the wallowing in it) that often mars this sort of work. Vito is a brutal man, not above beating up Milo or anyone who he thinks he can extract information from. Milo himself is no angel. In fact no-one in this movie comes out of it smelling of roses and both Vito and Milo have to make compromises in order to survive.

    The film is very well directed by Sergio Sollima. There are some good action sequences and some unusual and striking compositions. There is also some brief but spectacular location shooting in the Alps. The film moves at a fast pace and while it drags a little in the middle it is never boring. Reed is very good, quite intense and believable, and only occasionally looking like he had imbibed too much before the scene was shot. I found Testi's continuous cocky grin to be tiresome during the first half of the movie, but when things get more serious his performance improves.

    While no classic, Revolver is an entertaining genre film that gets a fine transfer to DVD on this disc.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The film is presented in NTSC format, undoubtedly due to this being another disc imported from the US.

    A very good if not perfect transfer. The image is sharp and there is plenty of detail, though shadow detail is no more than adequate, there being a lack of definition to dark clothing as well as in the few dark scenes. Generally the transfer is bright and clean, with good colour. Again though, as in the other Blue Underground transfers I have reviewed, reds seem a little too saturated.

    There are some minor problems with the transfer. There is some low level noise which can be seen at the very beginning of the movie. Most of the time this is not an issue. There are also some minor compression artefacts throughout resulting in a grainy look to the film. Edge enhancement is used extensively but is not severely applied. There are small film artefacts, limited to tiny white flecks and specks of dirt, but these tend to be visible only when viewed close-up.

    The disc contains no subtitles.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change barely visible at 62:35.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is but one audio track, which is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    The audio is an English dub. The film was probably shot silent with both the Italian and English dubs done by a professional dubbing studio. That means that none of the actors appear to have their own voices. Reed's occasionally sounds like him but with an American accent. Testi's is quite different, as you can tell from the interview with him on the disc. The audio sync is variable but is mainly quite good. The audio is also quite good, though with some audible hiss. It is the sort of mono soundtrack that would be expected on a film of this vintage. The only serious reservation I have (apart from not being able to hear it in Italian) is that the acoustics do not always match what is on screen.

    The music is by the now-legendary Ennio Morricone. I would not class this as one of his best, though there are some nice things in it. It sometimes seems a little bit too forceful for the movie, drawing attention to itself. There is also a terrible song sung in French by Milo's pop star friend.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Music from the score accompanies the static menu.

Interviews-Cast & Crew-Revolver: Calling The Shots (13:29)

    This extra consists of interviews with Sollima, now in his eighties, and Testi. Both speak in Italian with subtitles. They have some interesting stories about Reed and his drinking habits, plus some background to the movie. Sollima talks about his career and how he became involved in the project.

Theatrical Trailers (5:32)

    This extra contains two trailers. One is the international version, which has a soundtrack comprised entirely of music from the movie and sound effects. The other is the trailer for the American release, where the title was changed to Blood on the Streets.

Radio Spots (1:33)

    Two radio advertisements, both similar to the voice-over for the American trailer.

Gallery-Posters And Stills

    A bunch of publicity stills, most of which are in black and white, plus a series of posters and advertising material.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Detailed text biographies for Reed, Sollima, Testi and Morricone.

Easter Eggs

    There are two Easter Eggs on the Extras menu, which you can find if you move the cursor around. Both give short snippets of interview material with Sollima. In the first (1:44) he relates a story about eating out with Reed, and in the second (1:42) he discusses the botched release of the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As the Region 4 is an import of the Region 1, there is no reason to shop overseas for it unless you can get it cheaper.

Summary

    A tough little thriller from Italy featuring at least one good performance and some nice cinematography.

    The video quality is just above average.

    The audio quality is above average.

    Some extras are provided and these provide an insight into the movie.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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