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|Index||31 reviews in total|
To judge this film by "today's standards" misses the point--what are we comparing it to? Armageddon? Scream 3? This was the European 60s vision of the 'future'-- and why didn't it turn out that way? An odd, cheeky little plot mixing romance, light sci-fi and gunplay is underscored by dazzling visuals in a similar style to The Prisoner series, or Alphaville (if it were in color). Piero Piccioni's score is pure 'Jazz 2001', and is available as an import reissue. Mastroianni is charming and Ursula Andress is at her sexiest, in an array of groovy ensembles. It all depends on what you're after, but personally I wish the WORLD LOOKED like this movie and that men's and women's fashion reflected this film's 'in the future, people will dress like this' style. Anchor Bay's DVD is a great addition to the collection of any 60s/European film fan.
There are always some people too wrapped up in themselves to pick up on the spectacular ideas & images in this movie, though it's hard to believe. The look & concept of the "future" in this movie is one of the most original in film, from the s/m club to the sexual roadside rest stops to having to hide your parents because it's a law to turn them in after a certain age _ but above all _ the concept of the hunt itself. Absolutely brilliant!!!
In the future an organization sets up a game show that show people hunting each other. Two people are chosen: the Hunter and the Victim. Anything goes as the Victim flees for the designated time period. Marcello Mastorianni plays the most successful killer and then his number comes up as a victim. The hunters and victims have know knowledge of one another and Marcello must always be on guard. The hunter after him is the beautiful Ursula Andress, always dressed in knock-out fashions. Marcello's as cool as ever, always dressed in black, wearing sunglasses. The production design is fantastic. The colourful comic book architecture is the height of retro cool. For fan of Italian '60s pop art science fiction, this is one to check out.
The more serious you get about this movie, the more you are missing the
point. It's an Italian Sex Farce, really, but it's also a fine pop art
film, and a fine science-fiction romp that would be a great double
feature with Blade Runner. The review "A wonderful example of 60s pop
art film-making,Italian-style", by jisenhath from New York, New York
USA, really nails the essence of this social-satire sci-fi.
Like the crocodile tears the sun worshippers cry for the setting sun (satire on religion, of course, though it's also close to the excesses of the 60's hippy-dippies doing nature "for real" in 65), the movie is best taken in the vapid, mondo gellato style it revels in.
From the novel by Robert Sheckley (still a great read, too), the "shocking" hunt takes a swipe at the media circus and boredom of excess, while visually reveling in it. The fashion, style and beauty of both Elsa Martinelli and Ursula Andress are a joy, while Marcello works his casual nonchalance and easy timing as the Italian sophisticate at ease with multiple meanings. That's come to pass, hasn't it, as we read from this computer on a network spanning the world. Is this a cult we are a part of? If so, don't cry, but laugh. Like this film does.
Cheesy one review says... no, cheesy is when the film attempts something and does not succeed through taste, budget or in-ineptitude. Opera is not cheesy, but it is ornate, over-the- top and hyper. So is this film. It's space opera in the operatic sense of La Scala.
It's spun gold, and a fine bookend to Marcello's 60's sex romps like Cassanova 70. (done in '65 too, a good year for vintage Marcello). Asti Spumante, anyone?
I normally don't feel compelled to write reviews for films, especially
similar views have already been presented. However, after seeing a
blatantly off-base review under the title of "hopeless" for "The 10th
Victim", I had to make up for it. That reviewer is obviously incapable of
appreciating a film like this because it's not easily pigeonholed. It's a
fun, exciting comedy, drama, and farce rolled into one... I really liked
the interactions between Andress (who looks absolutely stunning in this
film) and Mastroianni. An interesting concept that is well executed...
after viewing it for the first time, I knew it would remain an all-time
favorite of mine for life... I am thrilled that this is finally seeing
light of day on DVD (after a way-outdated VHS version that even had a
of Andress from ten years later on the cover, instead of a proper still
the movie). I'm buying this on DVD the second it's released...
Lest I forget... the soundtrack of this film is simply amazing... Not a large amount of original music, but what a score it is... by the Italian master Piero Piccioni. Listen and love...
As a wonderful example of 60s pop art filmmaking, Elio Petri has taken many of the decade's most popular culture crazes (the Bond films, Courreges fashions, discotheque jazz, etc.) and used them with great success to give a plausible look to a highly improbable (in 1965!) future world. Petri's digs at Mad Ave advertising and humanity's relentless pursuit of fame and money (no matter the price) are on-target, and his delight in mocking societal idiosyncrasies (the sun worshipers) is priceless. However, at the heart of The Tenth Victim is the old-fashioned battle-of-the-sexes plot (still very popular in the mid-60s), and yet Petri has the upper hand by his spoofing of the romantic-comedy genre and giving us instead a deliciously amusing trifle that is fun to watch for its joking attitude towards everything it depicts, including Marcello and Ursula! To one reviewer who found it outdated, it must be remembered that this film was made 35 years ago and so it naturally has nothing to do with today's standards - and why should it? That's like dismissing Griffith's Intolerance because it's a silent film!
Coming at the tail-end of one of the most provocative eras of film, European new wave, and featuring Italian cinema's premiere leading man of the time, Mr. Mastroianni, The 10th Victim exciting movie, given its year of release. The concept, that a group of over-bored members of a somewhat Utopian society spend their time hunting and being the hunted in the then-futuristic 1990's, works well, while the Italian backdrop is, as usual, a treat. While at times aping better Italian filmmakers of the time such as Fellini, the movie chugs along into a somewhat twisted relationship between hunter and hunted - the female component of this equation being played by Ursula Andress, yow!. Themes of a desensitized society, anonymity, and a thrill-seeking populace would re-emerge around the early 90's in America with cult obsessions over serial killers, a groundswell of violent video games/movies/television,and the formation of underground social cliques and groups such as gen x and "grunge" culture, whose attitudes towards sex/society/money/politics differed radically from the norm. The Tenth Victim may not have been on the spot prediction-wise, but its themes were accurate to the future scape it was attempting to create.
In 1965 this edgy Italian film (a/k/a La decima vittima) inspired by
Hugo and Nebula nominated American "science fiction" writer Robert
Sheckley's 1953 short story in Galaxy Magazine, "The Seventh Victim"
(that title having already been taken in films by a successful 1943
thriller, the ante was upped for this version), seemed outrageous and
challenging in its assertion of our desensitization to death and
passing reference to age issues (more fully developed in 1965's LOGAN'S
RUN (in turn based on William F. Nolan & George Clayton Johnson's 1957
science fiction novel). So successful was the stylish film of his short
story that Sheckley himself published a full novelization of THE 10TH
VICTIM in 1966.
Most "stylish" examinations of a future "strangely like our own only cooler" date faster than yesterday's fish, but with the long overdue 2009 DVD release of the film, it's amazing how still up to date and modern this violent romantic comedy (from some angles it is a thriller, but a thriller raised to new levels because of a wicked sense of humor) actually seems - although in 1965 the film makers could not imagine an Italy that allowed divorce or an economy so bad that a million dollars would seem like a million lire.
The Piero Piccioni jazz score still dazzles - if an adapter could find a "live" equivalent for the cinematic finale to the movie (the film's weakest point) this could be the basis for a great modern musical. Cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo's use of New York (the ruins of the old Penn Station and the World Trade Center construction site) and Rome (the Colosseum, Temple of Venus among other sites) ground the story while setting up its eroticism for the performances Director Elio Petri gets from a uniformly wonderful cast.
It isn't just the iconic first murder Ursula Andress pulls off during the credits (as Jacques Herlin recites "The Rules" of The Big Hunt) with her killer brassiere, it's the shrewd juxtaposition of the "computer matched" hunter and victims and social issues that are a constant undercurrent and overlay in the film as we watch Andress and Marcello Mastroianni perform their particular humorously over-planned dance of death. We're not long into this delicious film before we realize how it set up and surpassed all the so called "reality shows" polluting television today. "Voting someone off the island" or "out of the house" or "off a "talent" competition" is just another form of The Big Hunt" with all of us guiltily salivating at the vicarious "thrill of victory and agony of defeat."
As well as the film itself holds up, there's a second layer of interest on the film for those willing to go beyond the usually preferable UNdubbed version (the performances in the original Italian are wonderful). If you turn on the fine English language subtitles AND the unusually well done English language DUBBED soundtrack on the DVD, it's fascinating to note that they don't match! Sometimes the literal translation of the subtitles is dramatically better, but surprising frequency, the dubbing script - geared to fit as tightly as possible to the movement of the actor's lips - is superior. Taking both in enjoying the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences actually improves an already wonderfully layered film.
This is a must see for discerning fans of classic science fiction, romantic comedy or just plain intelligent film making and story telling willing to go beyond the "usual."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was only eleven when my family went to see this film and another
foreign one (I think it was JULIETTA OF THE SPIRITS, but I'm not sure).
The film is simple - in a futuristic world there is an international
competition that one can join, where if you succeed in killing ten
competitors (all trained assassins) you can get permanent immunity and
you can live at ease with 10 million dollars. The murders you commit
are shown on a program on international television. The winners become
The anti-hero and anti-heroine in the story are Marcello Mastrianni and Ursala Andress. They find that they are the next target in each other's way - Marcello is only one away from victory, and Ursala is on her way up. Unfortunately they fall in love. So what will they do - how will they get their points to win the game and how will they settle with each other.
It is a pretty movie - among other things I recall Marcello's hair was blond in this film. Very unusual and striking (he usually is wearing dark sun glasses and the affect makes him rather threatening looking).
Despite the grimness of the situation, it is a black comedy - on par with John Huston's PRIZZI HONOR two decades later. But Huston's film ends with the lovers (both Mafia hit "men") having to confront each other in a real battle to the death. It is not a televised contest that ends with a killing.
There are some great moments of mayhem - we see Marcello at the start working as a valet for a man who is an equestrian. He helps the man get dressed for a ride. The man has just put on some well polished boots (Marcello had been polishing them when we see him). The man is suspicious, but when Marcello leaves the room the man preens himself before a mirror - he clicks his heels, and is blown to smithereens.
THE TENTH VICTIM was set up as a science fiction tale of the future. It is one of the few that managed to predict a trend of the future - one that has not reached it's conclusion yet. The concept of the televised contest has reached the screen with such "reality shows" as THE APPRENTICE and SURVIVOR. Nobody has died in any of these shows as part of their attractions, but THE SURVIVOR has contestants voted off the island every week. One hopes they won't try to get that last drop of realism in the future - too much blood involved, and not (perhaps) done with the style that Marcello and Ursala brought to the screen forty years ago.
Absolutely wonderful and fun. It is witty, bright, human and... just great. Pay close attention to the soundtrack. The music is in its own unique genre. I owned the soundtrack album and was delighted to find out that it was Andy Worhol's favorite album. I think that says it all right there.
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