Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 13th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, August 15th, 1973
Director: Vittorio Salerno
Writers: Augusto Finocchi, Vittorio Salerno
Cast: Enzo Cerusico, Enrico Maria Salerno, Riccardo Cucciolla, Martine Brochard, Umberto Raho
BluRay released: February 5th, 2016
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono German
Subtitles: English, German
BluRay Release: Camera Obscura
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: 27.99 EUR
No, the Case Is Happily Resolved was co-written and directed by Vittorio Salerno whose filmography only comprises of three other films, Libido, Savage Three and Notturno con grida. Key collaborators on No, the Case Is Happily Resolved include, screenwriter Augusto Finocchi (Count Dracula, The Italian Connection), cinematographer Marcello Masciocchi (The Sweet Body of Deborah, Tropic of Cancer) and composer Riz Ortolani (Mondo Candido, Cannibal Holocaust).
The premise has a Hitchcock written all over it. The wrong man gets accused of a crime he does not commit and now it is up to him to prove his innocence. To further complicate matters the real killer is not content with just point the finger at the protagonist and as the narrative progresses the killer does everything in the power to ensure the evidence never incriminates them.
The film’s opening goes for the jugular as the killer stalks their victim through the reeds and nearby is the protagonist listening to a soccer game with his headphones, while fishing. Also the way in which this moment is shot and cut further adds the brutality of the act. And when the killer and protagonist finally come face to face. They do not speak, instead they look at the aftermath caused by the murder. From there the killer and the protagonist each go their own separate way. At first the protagonist makes attempts to get law enforcement involved, but due to circumstances he never follows through. This then allows the more proactive killer to pin the crime on an innocent man.
No, the Case Is Happily Resolved was made during a time when Giallo’s had already started to wane in popularity and a new genre poliziotteschi was primed to takes its place. Content wise, though there are elements of both of these genres which can be found in this film. With the latter genre being the one that this film draws more from. And since the killers’ identity is revealed in the opening moments of the film. This film becomes less about whodunit and more about apprehending the killer.
From a production stand point there is not an area where this film does not excel. The tension filled narrative is meticulously constructed and filled with subtext including social commentary about classism. Also the characters are well defined and their motivations are never in doubt. And when it comes to pacing things are move along briskly from revelation to the next. Another area where this film does not disappoint are its stylish visuals which do a superb job reinforcing the mounting tension.
Performance wise the entire cast all good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance coming Enzo Cerusico (The Dead Are Alive) in the role of the film’s protagonist Fabio Santamaria. He delivers an utterly convincing performance of man driven to paranoia. Other notable performances include, Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) in the role of reporter named don Peppino and Riccardo Cucciolla (Rabid Dogs) in the role of a school teacher named Eduardo Ranieri. Ultimately No, the Case Is Happily Resolved is an extraordinary thriller that has languished in obscurity for far too long.
No, the Case Is Happily Resolved comes on a 50 GB dual layer (44.6 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in excellent condition. Colors look accurate, black levels remain strong throughout and image looks crisp. Also grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR of compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD mono mix in German. Both audio mixes are in excellent shape as there are no issues with distortion or background noise. Range wise things sounds as good as one would expect considering the mono limitations. With the film’s score sounding robust on both audio mixes. Also dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and the ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Included with this release are two subtitle options, English and German.
Extras for this release include, a photo gallery, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 51 seconds, in Italian with English and German subtitles), an alternate ending (3 minutes 15, in Italian and German with English and German subtitles), a featurette titled ‘Mother Justice’ (40 minutes 35 seconds, in Italian with English and German subtitles) and an audio commentary with film historians Marcus Stiglegger and Kai Naumann.
Topics discussed in the featurette titled ‘Mother Justice’ include:
Director Vittorio Salerno: the origins of the film, casting Riccardo Cucciolla in this film’s most pivotal role and his thoughts on Cucciolla’s performance, the look of the film, difficulties that arose shooting a murder of prostitute, the cast & his thoughts on their performances, working his brother Enrico Maria Salerno as a first time director, Riz Ortolani’s score, compromises that he had to make as a first time director, thoughts on the film and how the film industry has changed over the years.
Actress Martine Brochard: she reminisces about the cast, her thoughts on the character she portrayed, how easy her casing for the film went, how the atmosphere between Vittorio Salerno and Enrico Maria Salerno was always good and her thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the differences between the Italian and ‘notorious’ German audio tracks, editing and the way image and sounds are juxtapositioned, they discuss in depth this film’s key murder scene, Vittorio Salerno and other films he directed, the cast & others films they appeared in, Rz Ortolani’s score for the film and they discuss the film’s final act.
Rounding out the extras is a booklet that includes an informative essay titled ‘The World is Upside Down!’ written by Christian KeBler. This essay is presented in dual text, English and German. This release also comes with multi-lingual menus, English and German. Overall No, the Case Is Happily Resolved is another exceptional release from Camera Obscura, highly recommended.
Note: Camera Obscura are also releasing this film on DVD.