Revolver (1973) – Blu Ray Review

Revolver is an Italy / France / West Germany co-production crime caper directed by Sergio Sollima probably best known for his spaghetti western The Big Gundown and stars Oliver Reed as deputy prison warden Cipriani, based in Milan who suddenly finds out his wife has been kidnapped and then gets a demand to get one of the prisoners out of jail or his wife will be killed.

But when the warden allows his prisoner to escape, the two men become trapped in a deadly conspiracy that reaches from the very high up parts of government. Can he do the right thing and save his wife or does he have to become a criminal himself to make things right?

Originally released as Blood in the Streets in the US, Sollima’s thrilling crime flick with that riveting score by Ennio Morricone is a fast-paced and exciting thriller which keeps you guessing until the shocking climax.

Oliver Reed is excellent in the lead and he really was a great actor and not the comical drunk that in his later years tarred his reputation. Co Star Fabio Testi is a bit of a mixed bag, his character frustrating to watch at times but he does have a good screen presence. The script is a bit plodding in places but the running time does not overstay its welcome. It’s slow to start but once it gets going it will keep you entertained with the tension and complex plotting and if he will ultimately get to save his wife.

For those that are not familiar with the film or the Italian crime drama genre, it is well worth checking out and as mentioned earlier it does show what a great actor Oliver Reed was, it is a shame that the English dub on this disc his voice was dubbed by someone else.

The Blu Ray has been released by Eureka in the UK and is from a new 4K restoration. The picture quality is excellent, especially in close-ups and the film grain texture has been kept to give it the gritty look.

Audio gives a choice of Italian Language with English subtitles or an English dubbed track in PCM dual mono. It is clear and fine to listen to, with the soundtrack standing out especially. The film’s theme song, “Un Ami“, is sung in French by Daniel Beretta in the Italian version, while the International version uses an instrumental version of the song.

Extras give you another informative audio commentary by  Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw,  a new 22-minute interview with film scholar Stephen Thrower, a 10-minute interview with Paola Pitagora (Carlotta in Revolver) a 17-minute archival interview with actor Fabio Testi, 6-minutes of the English credits opening, an original trailer and international trailer plus three Radio Advertisements. Finally, you get a Limited-Edition Collector’s Booklet (2000 copies only) featuring two new essays by author Howard Hughes; one covering the background to the making of Revolver, and an extensive piece on Ennio Morricone’s “Eurocrime” soundtracks. 

A great package yet again from Eureka.

FILM – 7 PICTURE – 8 AUDIO – 8 EXTRAS – 8

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