Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 20th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1983
Director: Tinto Brass
Writer: Tinto Brass
Cast: Frank Finlay, Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli, Barbara Cupisti, Maria Grazia Bon, Gino Cavalieri, Piero Bortoluzzi, Irma Veithen, Milly Corinaldi, Giovanni Michelagnoli
BluRay Released: May 20th, 2013
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English, English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video
Region Encoding: Region B/ Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £22.99
Synopsis: After noticing his wife Teresa’s interest in their daughters’ fiancée. Nino decides to spice up their sex life by encouraging his wife’s desires for this other man. Things really get complicated when Nino and Teresa find each other’s diaries. This revelation ends up putting additional strains on their already troubled marriage. Will Nino be able to put his jealousy aside or will he let things go so far that there will be no turning back the damage that has been done?
The Key, is a turning point film for Tinto Brass, who previous soft core ventures Salon Kitty and Caligula were more vulgar then sensual. It is also one of his least explicit soft core films as he focuses more on the story and not as much on his favorite part of the body the ass. A humorous scene occurs when Nino imagines his wife with her lover. She tries to remain faithful to her husband as her lover chases her around with a raging hard on making horse like sounds before he runs head on into a mirror.
Performance wise, this is one of the strongest cast that Tinto Brass has worked with to date. With this film’s standout performance coming from Stefania Sandrelli (Divorce Italian Style, Seduced and Abandon) in the role of the film’s protagonist Teresa Rolfe, a attention starved house wife. Legendary composer Ennio Morricone’s provides a score that is filled with sensual and elegant motifs. Ultimately The Key is a mesmerizing tale about jealousy and it is without a doubt Tinto Brass’s best film to date.
The Keycomes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This new transfer from Arrow Video is in very good shape. Details generally look crisp. Black and contrast levels, though they fare well, they do leave some room for improvement. Also though colors and flesh tones look different that they have for previous home video releases of this film. In motion they look more accurate on this new release from Arrow Video, when compared to those aforementioned home video releases. It should be noted that Tinto Brass’s preferred aspect ratio’s for most of his film’s is a 1.66:1 aspect ratio and for this release the image has been framed at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Fortunately this framing of image never proves to be too intrusive.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English and a DTS-HD Mono mix in Italian. Both audio mixes sounds very good. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and range wise the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles and English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include a English language trailer for the film (3 minutes 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), reversible covert art and collectable booklet featuring new writing on the film by Tinto Brass scholar Alexander Tuschinski and illustrated with rare production stills. Also included with this combo release is a DVD that contains the same contents that are on the BluRay included as part of this release. Overall Arrow Video gives The Key its worldwide BluRay debut via a fully uncut release that comes with a strong audio / video presentation.