10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Fifth Cord, The 
Written by: on March 13th, 2006

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, August 28th, 1971
Director: Luigi Bazzoni
Writers: Luigi Bazzoni, Mario di Nardo, Mario Fanelli
Cast: Franco Nero, Edmund Purdom, Rossella Falk, Renato Romano, Pamela Tiffin

DVD released: March 28th, 2006
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) is a washed out journalist who drowns his sorrows in alcohol and when a prominent socialite is nearly murdered on their way home he is assigned to the case. He becomes indirectly involved as a suspect because the night before he had been drinking at the same bar as the victim. The bodies start too pile up as Bild feverously tries to unmask the killer before he becomes the fifth victim?

The Fifth Cord is based on a novel by D.M Devine which bears the same title. Like many book to film adaptations the final product doesn’t resemble or faithfully capture the essence of the novel. The films plot doesn’t spend enough time getting to know the various victims like the book which fully fleshes each character out. The lack of background info on the various characters is this films biggest flaw.

The film opens up with your traditional giallo killer who scans the room looking for its next victim while talking in a hoarse genderless voice. The killer’s identity is a well kept secret and the killers’ motive is ingenious even by giallo standards. The victims’ deaths are not as bloody or brutal as latter day giallo’s that followed in the wake of Dario Argento’s Deep Red.

Franco Nero gives an impressive performance as Andrea Bild. Nero is a chameleon like actor who totally immerses himself in every role. The rest of the cast are above average and at times really good with a standout performance by Pamela Tiffin.

The Fifth Cord was directed by Luigi Bazzoni who would only direct a handful of films over the span of roughly a decade. Bazzoni with the help of famed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro would create a picturesque landscape for The Fifth Cord that is filled with bizarre camera angles and futuristic landmarks. Visually this film is one the most stunning beautiful giallo’s ever committed to celluloid.

Ennio Morricone’s jazzy score is filled with discordant sounds and angelic choir voices. The music cues in this film are diverse and none of them have that recycled feel that some of Morricone’s other score’s do. Despite being pretty standard the plot remains interesting tell the very end.

The Fifth Cord is an above average thriller that is greatly benefited by a brilliant performance from Franco Nero.

The DVD:

Blue Underground presents The Fifth Cord in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This high definition transfer has been flagged for progressive scan and the overall quality it nothing short of remarkable. Colors are vivid and details are exceptional sharp.

This release comes with only one audio option an English language track that is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. This audio mix is as equally impressive as the transfer for this release. Dialog is crisp and never sounds too soft. The music and effects are evenly mixed. There are no problems with this audio mix which sounds pretty good for a film nearly thirty five years old.

Extras for this release include the films original English language trailer. The main extra for this release is a fascinating featurette with Franco Nero and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro which runs about sixteen minute in length. Both men talk extensively about working with director Luigi Bazzoni through out their careers and on The Fifth Cord.

The Fifth Cord makes its long overdue release in America via Blue Undergrounds nearly flawless DVD release.

For more information about The Fifth Cord visit Blue Underground here.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.