Revolver | Sergio Sollima’s radical 1970s crime Italian thriller starring Oliver Reed fires up on Blu-ray

From Eureka Entertainment comes director Sergio Sollima’s hard-hitting 1970s poliziottesco, Revolver, starring Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi, on Blu-ray from a brand-new 4K restoration as part of the Eureka Classics range. Available from 16 May 2022.

Milan prison warden Vito Cipriani (Reed) finds himself in a moral maze when kidnappers snatch his wife Anna (Agostina Belli) and demand the release of pretty crook Milo Ruiz (Testi).

Allowing Ruiz to escape, Cipriani plans to use him to get his wife back – but it soon becomes clear that powerful forces want Ruiz dead, as he is key to the assassination of a notorious French capitalist.

Gaining help from Ruiz’s lover, Carlotta (Paola Pitagora), to get over the mountain border, the determined lawman heads to Paris with Ruiz in tow to confront the kidnappers!

‘Makes Death Wish look like wishful thinking!’ was the tagline that accompanied Revolver upon its belated 1976 US release (where it was retitled Blood in the Streets), but this 1973 Italian crime thriller is much more than a gun-totting exploitation.

Versatile Italian director and screenwriter Sergio Sollima (17 April 1921 – 1 July 2015), gained international cult status with his trio of groundbreaking spaghetti Westerns, The Big Gundown (1966); Face to Face (1967); and Run, Man, Run (1968), before turning his eye to the poliziotteschi genre with 1970’s Violent City, starring Charles Bronson.

1973’s Revolver was his second crime thriller and again the highly-political, antiauthoritarian filmmaker brings to it his signature allegorical style to great effect. Here it’s all about corruption at the highest level and how his two protagonists find themselves at its mercy.

It’s bleak, hard-hitting and radical, bolstered by a powerhouse performance from Reed (who brings great depth to his character), a charismatic turn from Testi, adrenaline-inducing action scenes on the streets of Paris, and a terrific score from Sollima’s long-time collaborator Ennio Morricone (which includes the maestro’s classic Un Amico theme tune).

Due to poor handling by its producers, the film flopped in Italy and was relegated to the exploitation circuit in the US – but now we can fully appreciate its true worth courtesy of this new 4k restoration. A must-see!

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K restoration
  • English and Italian audio options (I preferred the English track as you get Oliver Reed dubbing his own voice, although his accent is rather odd)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Barry Forshaw and Kim Newman (who supply some great trivia like Daniel Berreta, who plays pop star Al Niko in the film, is the Italian voice dub for Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • Film scholar Stephen Thrower on Revolver (and director Sollima’s career)
  • Tough Girl: interview with Paola Pitagora (the Italian actress looks back at her time on the film, with some interesting anecdotes about Oliver Reed)
  • Action Man: archival interview with actor Fabio Testi (Filmed in June 2006, the still very handsome former actor discusses his career from stunt man to leading man, including his work with directors Sollima, Lucio Fulci and Stelvio Massi)
  • English credits
  • Original theatrical and international trailers
  • Collector’s booklet featuring essays by Howard Hughes on the making of Revolver and on Ennio Morricone’s ‘Eurocrime’ soundtracks
  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [2000 copies]

Available to order from: Eureka Store https://eurekavideo.co.uk/movie/revolver/

About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on May 5, 2022, in Crime, Crime thriller, Italian cinema and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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