Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 23rd, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1971
Director: Pietro Germi
Writers: Piero De Bernardi, Leonardo Benvenuti, Tullio Pinelli, Pietro Germi
Cast:Dustin Hoffman, Stefania Sandrelli, Carla Gravina, Clara Colosimo, Daniele Patella, Danika La Loggia, Saro Urzì, Luigi Baghetti, Duilio Del Prete
DVD Released: March 13th, 2012
Approximate running time: 107 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: Shortly after marrying the girl of his dreams. A timid bank teller quickly discovers that looks can be deceiving. When his new bride’s peculiar behavior begins to threaten his sanity.
Alfredo, Alfredo co-written and directed by Pietro Germi, who’s other notable films include, The Railroad Man, Divorce Italian Style and Seduced and Abandoned. Key collaborators on Alfredo, Alfredo include, cinematographer Aiace Parolin (Baba Yaga, Keoma) and composer Carlo Rustichelli (The Whip and the Body, Kill, Baby, Kill!). When theatrically released in America, Alfredo, Alfredo was shortened by about ten minute and this release is the film’s full length version that was released theatrically in Italy.
Content wise, Alfredo, Alfredo covers ground that Pietro Germi had covered in several of his previous films. Most notably Divorce Italian Style and Seduced and Abandoned. Unfortunately when it comes to Alfredo, Alfredo it lacks the finesse that those two aforementioned had in spades. Also the humor in Alfredo, Alfredo often misses more then it hits. Case in point, this film’s main comedic motif in which Alfredo’s wife screams a blood curdling moan during her moment of ecstasy. Sure the first or even second time she does this is mildly humorous, after that it becomes excruciating painful to enjoy.
At just under 110 minutes, too much time is spent reinforcing the obvious, instead of getting to its punch line. This long winded approach to the story at hand is sure to give some viewers may get a bad case of Déjà Vu.
In a film in which it appears that nothing goes right. It is leading man Dustin Hoffman (Straw Dogs, Rain Man) in the role of Alfredo that proves to be this film’s greatest weakness. His performance at times comes off as though he is trying to play of caricature of the character that he portrayed in The Graduate.
Without a doubt this film most durable asset is its leading lady Stefania Sandrelli (The Conformist, The Key) who originally rose to prominence as an actress after appearing in Divorce Italian Style and Seduced and Abandoned. Another performance of note is Carla Gravina (The Antichrist) in the role of Alfredo’s mistress. In fact it is a scene involving her character and her parents that ultimate delivers this film most memorable and entertaining moment. During this scene she introduces Alfredo to her parents, who immediately disapprove of him. That is until they learn that his is married and trying to get away from his wife. Then they quickly warm up to him.
Alfredo, Alfredo is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. This film’s intended aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and while the image does not look to cramped (maybe a open matte presentation?). It should be noted that the film’s opening credits are presented in a 1.85:1 letterboxed aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, black levels look good and details look crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression, edge enhancement varies in degree throughout and print debris is minimal.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital Mono mix in Italian (no English subtitles). Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. With the edge going to the English mix which sounds fuller of the two audio mixes. Also being that there are no English subtitles included with this release, virtually all non Italian speaking viewers will find the second audio mix useless.
Extras for this release include a image gallery that includes, stills, posters and previous home video releases cover art. Overall Alfredo, Alfredo gets a good audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.