Sunday, November 14, 2010

Revolver (1973)

Director: Sergio Sollima

Starring: Oliver Reed, Fabio Testi

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In the name of love he killed a man... destroyed another... spit on his badge and tore a city apart brick by brick, street by street, punk by punk to find his wife.

Plot: When ruthless kidnappers set their sights on the spouse of an aggressive prison warden (Oliver Reed), their ultimate goal is to ask for the release of a prisoner (Fabio Testi) in exchange. But things don't go as planned when the warden instead permits the inmate to go free and both parties find themselves caught up in a dangerous scheme that involves all facets of the city and the governing body that rules it.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? YES! YES! YES!

It's been a while since I watched this but I knew it would be a great addition to my weekend of 70s crime flicks. REVOLVER is a fantastic entry in the Eurocrime genre. The two leads are great although Testi is a little too aloof for my taste. Unfortunately Reed did not do his own dubbing but the actor that did puts in a very good performance - so good that if you didn't know Reed's voice you wouldn't notice it at all. The U.S. trailer promises, "Oliver Reed in a performance makes Charles Bronson's Death Wish look like...wishful thinking!". I wouldn't quite say that but then I wouldn't say they're lying, either. He is a badass!

The direction and camerawork are expertly handled. Our introduction to Reed and his wife is brilliant. The camera holds on their lower legs as he walks with her standing on his feet. As they progress down the hallway, pieces of clothing find their way to the floor. You know what's going to happen. It's beautifully done and a cute & tender way of introduction and showing their love for one another.

Then there's the great location shooting! Sollima certainly has an eye for that.

The story is gripping, exciting, holds your attention and has a lot more under the surface than you would think given a picture of this sort. And the ending! WOW! The conversation Reed has with the top cop in his office speaks volumes.

Ennio Morricone shows once again that he's the master. His score compliments the film like few other Eurocrime scores. Outstanding! If you're unfamiliar with this genre, this would be a very good place to start. Like all genres, there are plenty of turkeys to be found but if gritty 70s crime is your bag, you must check this one out. The Italians excelled in this world of good guys who are bad and bad guys who are good...with a healthy dose of violence and European beauties. If you start here, your journey into Eurocrime will last a lifetime.

The Blue Underground DVD looks great and comes with the U.S. and international trailers and a nifty, informative 15-minute featurette with current interviews with the Sollima and Testi.

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