Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 27th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Pasquale Squitieri
Writers: Carlo Rivolta, Pasquale Squitieri
Cast: Joe Dallesandro, Stefania Casini, Benito Artesi, Ferdinando Murolo, Raymond Pellegrin
BluRay released: May 15th, 2017 (UK), May 16th, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running time: 113 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, English (Italian Language)
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region A,B / Region 1,2 NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £24.99 (UK)
The Climber was co-written and directed by Pasquale Squitieri whose other notable films include, Django Defies Sartana, Gang War in Naples and Blood Brothers. The score for The Climber was composed by Franco Campanino (A Man Called Magnum, To Be Twenty).
Though this film has many elements that have become synonymous with Italian crime films, most notably car chases. Content wise, this film is more of about organized crime, than a cop’s verses criminal’s scenario.
This film’s well-constructed narrative does a good job chronicling the protagonists rise and fall. And there are no issues with pacing as the film find a satisfying mix between Its action set pieces and melodramatic moments.
This film strongest asset is its leading man Joe Dallesandro (The Gardener, Madness) in the role of Aldo. Other performances of note is Stefania Casini (Suspiria, Bloodstained Shadow) in the role of Aldo’s love interest and Raymond Pellegrin (Beatrice Cenci, Shoot First, Die Later) in the role of Don Enrico, the mafia boss whose betrayal of Aldo has led to an all-out war.
Standout moments include, the scene where Aldo is betrayed by the boss of the crime syndicate that he worked for. This is one of many brutal moments in the film and in this scene two men beat Aldo to a pulp. Other standout moments include, a scene where on of Aldo’s friend’s is murder and his dead body is thrown off a balcony. And the film’s explosive finale that has all the ingredients that one would expect from an Italian crime film.
The Climber comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand-new transfer was created from a 4K restoration of the film from the original negative. There are no issues with compression, colors look accurate, details look crisp and black levels remain strong throughout.
This Release comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in English and a LPCM mono mix in Italian. Both audio mixes sound, clean, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. Included with this release are two subtitle options, English SDH and English for the Italian language tracks.
Extras for this release include, an interview with actor Joe Dallesandro titled Little Joe’s Adventures in Europe (28 minutes 39 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Joe Dallesandro include, Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol, why he went to Italy to make films, Flesh for Frankenstein, Blood for Dracula, how Italian cinema differed from the Morrissey / Warhol film’s that he made in America, Pasquale Squitieri, The Climber, actress Stefania Casini and their subsequent relationship while he was in Europe making films in the 1970’s, how his voice was never used in any of the Italian films that he appeared in, La Marge, shooting nude scenes, why he made art-house films in France and shoot them up films in Italy, background information about various films that he worked on, returning to American made films in the 1980’s and his thoughts about his career.
Rounding out the extra is a reversible cover and a sixteen-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Paradise Lost written by Roberto Curti and information about the restoration / transfer. Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Climber gets a first rate release from Arrow Video.