Monday, May 4, 2009
Revolver (1973, Sergio Sollima)
I saw an advertisement for Revolver in one of those neat Blue Underground catalogs that they include with all of their dvds. The cover stuck with me of a guy in a white fur coat and a pissed off fat guy with a mustache. The man with the mustache (aka Oliver Reed) I will get to later. After being wowed by Fabio Testi (guy in white fur coat) in Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse and Contraband, I had to see some of his other films. I figured the Blue Underground titles were a great place to start with (not that Fabio Testi dvds are a dime a dozen). The three titles I checked out were Revolver, The Big Racket and Heroin Busters. Here's my take on Revolver.
Vito Cipriani (Oliver Reed) is a prison warden who comes home from work one day to find that his beautiful wife (Agostina Belli) has disappeared. He gets a phone call saying that his wife has been kidnapped and that he must let one of his inmates, Milo Ruiz (Fabio Testi), out of jail or they will hurt her. Cipriani does what he is asked but once out, Milo has no idea who is responsible for the kidnapping. They must follow clues to find out who the kidnappers are and why they wanted Milo out of jail.
Revolver is a fast paced film that would fit well into the Poliziotteschi (Italian Crime) genre, but its really much more than that. Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi form an alliance that moves the film into an almost dramatic territory. Reed (aka God) is amazing as the emotionally wounded prison warden who will do anything to get his wife back. Testi does a fantastic job as Milo, a part he was born to play, showing off his talent, good looks and experience being a stuntman. The whole cast, story and action scenes are great in this one. Sergio Sollima proves he directs Eurocrime films (such as this and Violent City) with as much action and style as his classic Spaghetti Westerns (The Big Gundown and Run Man Run). The film at almost two hours keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the climactic ending. Ennio Morricone also provides a great score, perfectly accenting the action and the drama. I really have no complaints about this one and will fondly remember it as the film that introduced me to one of my favorites, Oliver Reed.