Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 9th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1965
Director: Elio Petri
Writers: Tonino Guerra, Giorgio Salvioni, Ennio Flaiano, Elio Petri, Ernesto Gastaldi
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress, Elsa Martinelli, Salvo Randone, Massimo Serato, Milo Quesada, Luce Bonifassy, George Wang, Evi Rigano, Walter Williams, Richard Armstrong, Antonio Ciani, Jacques Herlin, Wolfgang Hillinger, Mickey Knox, Anita Sanders
BluRay released: September 13th, 2011
Approximate running times: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
The 10th Victim was directed by Elio Petri, whose other notable films include The Lady killer of Rome, A Quiet Place in the Country and Investigation of a Citizen… Above Suspicion. The screenplay for The 10th Victim was adapted from the Robert Sheckley story titled “The Seventh Victim”. The Cinematographer on The 10th Victim was Gianni Di Venanzo whose impressive filmography includes Il grido, Big Deal on Madonna Street, La note, L’eclisse, Federico Fellini’s 8½ and Juliet of the Spirits. After The 10th Victim Gianni Di Venanzo would only work on one more film before his untimely death at the age of forty five. The score for The 10th Victim was composed by Piero Piccioni, whose other notable scores include Duel of the Titans, The Lady killer of Rome, La commare secca (The Grim Reaper), Contempt (The Italian and Spanish versions), The Nuns of Saint Archangel and Story of a Cloistered Nun.
The plot focuses primarily on two characters Marcello Polletti and Caroline Meredith who are both participating in “The Big Hunt”. Marcello is the hunted as Caroline in the hunter in seek of her 10th victim. She soon discovers that he is not as an easy target as her previous victims as he leads her around on a series of misadventures as he tries to figure out who she is and what she wants. This cat and mouse game that evolves between these two characters is the most enjoyable part of the film.
This film takes full advantage of the Rome locations in the film. All of the sets used are all beautifully designed and realized. The film features a solid performance from Marcello Mastroianni in the role of Marcello Polletti charismatic character that in many ways resembles his own persona. Cast opposite of Marcello Mastroianni in the role of Caroline Meredith is Swedish sex icon Ursula Andress. While she is more than serviceable in the role one has to wonder if the original choice for the role Ann-Margret would have been the better suited for this role. Early on in the film there is a scene with Ursula Andress that obviously inspired the machine gun breast assassins from the Austin Powers International Man of Mystery films. Ultimately The 10th Victim is an exceptional satire that hasn’t lost any of its charm or relevance.
The 10th Victim comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details look sharp throughout. There is a healthy layer of grain and there are no problems with compression. When compared to previous North American home video releases of The 10th Victim, this brand new transfer from Blue Underground looks amazing.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English and a DTS-HD Mono mix in Italian. Both audio are in good shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. The score benefits most from these audio mixes and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. This release comes with four subtitle options, English, English SDH, French and Spanish. Also the English subtitles appear to be a direct translation of the Italian audio track, while the English SDH subtitle is a direct translation of the English audio track.
Extras for this release include the U.S. theatrical release trailer (1 minute 47 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), the Italian theatrical release trailer (2 minutes 31 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, with English subtitles), a poster & still gallery for the film, a Marcello Mastroianni still gallery and a feature length documentary about Marcello Mastroianni titled ‘Marcello: A Sweet Life’ (98 minutes 15 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame / Letterboxed Widescreen, with English subtitles). This is a superb documentary that not only covers all the major films that Marcello Mastroianni, it also features an abundance of comments about who he was outside of cinema. All of his main collaborators make appearances in this documentary, whether it be newly recorded interviews or from archive footage, all of Marcello Mastroianni’s comments come from archive footage. This documentary also features comments from his two daughters and his brother Ruggero Mastroianni, a noted film editor. Overall The 10th Victim gets an exceptional release from Blue Underground.