Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 5th, 2009
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
DVD released: July 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
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.
Blue Underground presents The 10th Victim in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. In 2001 The 10th Victim was previously released in North America by Anchor Bay and Blue Undergrounds DVD release is a direct port of this previous release. Outside of some minor instances of print debris the image looks detailed, black levels are solid and colors and flesh tones fare well throughout.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. Both audio mixes are more than serviceable with the main difference between the two audio mixes being that the voices in the English audio mix sound louder than they do in the Italian audio mix. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and are error free have been included.
Extras for this release include an English language trailer for the film (1 minute 49 seconds) and bios / filmographies for Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress. Also the text bio on Marcello Mastroianni contains production information about The 10th Victim. Overall The 10th Victim gets a much needed re-release from Blue Underground at a more than affordable price.