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I may be cynical, but sometimes I look at my collection and see 50 copies
the same movie. Explosions, love interest, conservative "twist" ending,
cut! Revolver may be just as derivative of 1970's flicks as the
fests of the 21st century are today, but for some reason it was
to watch. I can't see anyone lavishing "rabid fanboy" praise on it, but
Revolver was enjoyable, moving at times, and had two great performances.
you thirst for a change of pace, but want to retain the comfortable
standbys of guns and violence, Revolver may be right up your alley. The
fantastic extras don't hurt either.
I've never seen a movie quite like this. The best descriptor I can muster is "spaghetti thriller". It's a seventies crime drama with a bit of Dirty Harry, a helping of Reservoir Dogs, a few drops of eau de western, a scoop of melodrama, and a dash of political commentary. Though it oscillates between boredom and epic, Revolver delivers the kind of entertainment that today's movies can only parody. If you buy into the characters, you'll be treated to a satisfying drama. If modern sensibilities prevent that, you can at least enjoy the campier aspects (bad lip synch, fur coats) and delight in the commanding score. The score alone is worth it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Vito Cipriani (the late great, Oliver Reed) arrives home to make love
to his wife afterwards he gets called to quell a prison disturbance. He
does, but upon returning home he finds his wife missing. He receives a
call ordering him to release a small time crook if he wants his wife
back alive. He does, only to kidnap the crook to assure that he gets
his wife back.The only other film I saw of Director Sergio Sollima was
"Run, Man, Run" which I enjoyed immensely, and I'm glad to say that I
enjoyed this one as well. Oliver Reed is good in it, lots of action,
and it's a pretty tight thriller. It didn't hurt that I didn't see the
ending coming, that's very rare, so it's always a welcome surprise.
My Grade: B
Blue Underground DVD Extras: a 14 minute spoiler heavy featurette; Poster and stills gallery; Talent Bios; 2 radio spots; and both the international and USA Theatrical trailers
I'm a big fan of Italian crime flicks, but it has to be said that a lot
of them are rather similar. That's not the case with Revolver however!
Some of these films go off on a bit of a tangent and while in keeping
with the elements that make this sort of film what it is (car chases,
shootouts etc) deliver something more than the average cop flick, and
these are the best of the genre; films such as Almost Human, Street Law
and this film. Revolver benefits from a strong plot, two strong leading
men and the fact that the film actually has a point to make. The plot
focuses on Vito Cipriani; a prison warden and former police officer who
finds himself with a choice to make when he is told by criminals that
his wife has been kidnapped and the only way he can get her back is to
spring crook Milo Ruiz from jail and make the exchange for his wife.
Vito is not happy just to take the criminal's word for it, however, and
so decides to kidnap the criminal himself before the exchange is made.
It also soon becomes apparent that the criminal's aren't playing
straight, which leads to an unlikely combination of prisoner and prison
warden on the hunt for the warden's wife.
Oliver Reed takes the lead role, and I have to say that he should have made more Italian crime flicks! His performance is typically over the top, though he looks completely at home chewing the scenery and swearing his head off, and it's a joy to watch too. Esteemed Polizi star Fabio Testi stars opposite and is the polar opposite of Oliver Reed, which ensures that they make a fascinating pairing on screen. The plot moves at a brisk pace throughout and it never veers very far off course, which is a bonus if you ask me considering how these films often do. There are a few moments where it does slow down a bit too much, and Revolver is just slightly overlong; but as I said, it doesn't get boring so it's not too big a problem. There's less action in this film than the average Polizi flick, but we do still get a couple of decent car chases and there's a fair bit of gunplay too. Oliver Reed's performance really makes up for that anyway, however; the man himself has more impact than any amount of cars and bullets! Perhaps the best thing about this film is the point it has to make; I don't expect much more than entertainment from a Polizi flick, so getting that little bit extra is a nice bonus. Overall, this is certainly one of the better of examples of this genre and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my fellow Polizi fans.
If you are a fan of Sergio Sollima then I don't have to tell you that you
this film. I am so glad that I have discovered Italian action films from the
and 1970s. I only wish that I could see some of these films on the big
There is something special about these films.
Revolver takes the viewer on a sort of chase. There is elements of mystery and action, but during the course of the film the relationship between the two
characters, played by Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi, evolves in a way that brings in drama into the story. Like Sollima's other films, there is fast paced action, violence, and a little bit of sex.
There is a gray area between who is good and bad, and that is something
Sollima has stated in interviews. In fact he has said that he has always been a fan of bad guys because sometimes the good guys mess things up more in the
end then the bad guys. He shows that in Revolver.
¨Revolver¨ is an entertaining and thrilling Poliziotteschi , it was
retitled "Blood in the Streets" for its American theatrical release .
It is an interesting drama/thriller plenty of thrills , taut , intrigue
and twists . The picture deals with a prison warden (Oliver Reed who
regularly turned-up to the set inebriated) and a small-time crook
(Fabio Testi) who is a prisoner at a state penitentiary . As the
Italian warden's wife (Agostina Belli) is abducted , and the kidnappers
demand that an inmate be released in order for the man to get his wife
back . He gets the convict released but then abducts him himself , in
order to ensure that the man's compatriots don't murder his spouse .
Then , the band sets out to free their colleague and kill the official
who took him . At the end it takes place the last battle between crime
and the law in the major city in the world : Paris .
This is an exciting but complex thriller plenty of emotion , noisy action , car crashes , pursuits , twists and turns . Some actors claim they made his own stunts , as Fabio Testi told that he did nearly all the stunts in the movie himself, including a difficult roof jumping stunt in Milan that the stuntman was unable to do . Very good acting by Oliver Reed as an enraged warden ; however , there had problems because of his alcoholism , as he become difficult to work with . In fact , co-star Fabio Testi also expressed that it was both exciting and difficult to work with Reed due to his alcoholism, and he would become violent on the set on many occasions . Support cast is frankly good , full of European familiar faces such as Frédéric de Pasquale , Marc Mazza , Reinhard Kolldehoff , Bernard Giraudeau , Peter Berling and Salvatore Borghese . Furthermore , two gorgeous Eurotrash actresses : Agostina Belli and Paola Pitagora . Colorful cinematography by Aldo Scavarda , though a perfect remastering being necessary . Special mention for the sensitive and enjoyable musical score composed and arranged by maestro Ennio Morricone ; including a marvelous song : Un Ami Written by Ennio Morricone and Performed by Daniel Beretta .
The motion picture was compellingly directed by recently deceased Sergio Sollima , he even choreographed the fight scenes himself because he wanted each character to have a fighting style tailored to their personality . Sergio Sollima's direction is well crafted, here he's less cynical and more inclined toward violence and too much action . Sergio wrote and directed all kinds of genres such as Pirate films as ¨ Sandokan ¨ and the ¨ Black Corsario ¨ ; Peplum : ¨Rocha¨ , "Spartacus and the Ten Gladiators" , "Triumph of the Ten Gladiators" , ¨Ursus¨ "Goliath Against the Giants" ; Euro-spy : "Requiem for a Secret Agent" , "Agent 3S3: Hunter from the Unknown" , ¨Tanger 67¨ ; being especially known for his ¨Cuchillo trilogy¨ : ¨Run Cuchillo run¨, ¨Face to Face¨ , ¨The big Gundown¨. And this ¨Revolver¨ is essential and indispensable watching for Oliver Reed fans . This is a satisfyingly violent and thrilling flick that avid fans of the genre will love .
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Oliver Reed plays Vito Cipriani, a cop turned prison warden who gets a phone call on day telling him that his wife has been kidnapped. If he wants to see his wife again he must help Milo Ruiz (Fabio Testi) escape from prison. The warden and convict manage to get away from the cops but soon they are both trying to figure out who kidnapped the wife.
REVOLVER has two great lead performances as well as a marvelous score by Ennio Morricone but there are all sorts of issues with the screenplay that keep it from being a much better film. I thought the story itself was rather weak and there just wasn't enough here to carry the 110-minute running time, which led the film to running out of gas towards the final act. Unlike a lot of EuroCrime pictures, this one here doesn't have a great amount of action and instead goes for more character development.
I thought the character development was handled quite well and it works because we've got two great actors turning in great performances. Reed is pitch perfect as the warden who soon finds himself willing to turn on his darker side if it means he gets his wife back. I really liked the frantic way Reed played the character and he didn't have to go over the top. Testi gave a very good performance as well and I thought the two had great chemistry together. The screenplay offers both actors some emotional scenes and they both pulled them off wonderfully.
As I said, the performances and the brilliant score make the film worth watching but I really wish there was more to the story than what we got. What action scenes are here are well directed by Sergio Sollima. REVOLVER falls just short of being a good film but it's certainly worth watching.
Another great and unconventional crime drama from those beloved
Italians, this one made by master of class Sergio Sollima (SANDOKAN)
and containing a greater depth of plot and character than one might
expect from other pulp adventures from the time. This tough flick is
great and interesting thanks to the unconventional plot and the raw,
almost documentary-style camera work which follows the characters
around a variety of European settings. The plot is complex and gets
murkier as the film progresses, with multiple characters lurking around
the edges who have no clear motives. At times the film ventures into
the area of the psychological thriller as it puts the characters
through tense situations, at all times leading to a climax that you
just know won't be a happy one.
Chief enjoyment comes from unlikely star Oliver Reed, playing a typically gruff character who is forced to confront his morals as the film progresses. Reed is great in the role, especially as he is forced to become more and more emotive as the film goes on, and he really fits into the role of the character nicely so that you forget that he's acting; personally I think this is one of the best performances I've seen from the underrated star. Fabio Testi is the criminal, Milo Ruiz, and puts in a genuinely good performance along with Reed, shining in a part that allows him to play a character rather than a wooden figure for once. The supporting cast is fine, especially Agostina Belli's frightened captive.
BLOOD IN THE STREETS is more plot-centric than most and thus contains a lesser degree of action than you might expect, although Sollima does throw in one outstanding shoot-out in a street for action fans. Nonetheless the sheer level of twists and turns in the plot and the performances make it hugely engrossing. One last thing to mention: there's a fantastic and stylish score by the acclaimed Ennio Morricone which enhances the action no end. This combination of winning elements makes it one to watch.
I've written this down in previous reviews numerous of times already, but it will forever remain relevant & valid: there exist no other types of movies that pump you up with more adrenalin and excitement than the Italian Poliziotteschi movies from the 1970s! I had set tremendously high expectations for this "Revolver" (a.k.a. "Blood in the Streets") and they were definitely fulfilled, although admittedly this wasn't fully the type of film I imagined it would be By rule, Poliziotteschi movies are tense, raw and extremely violent but not 100% story driven. Just think of the films directed by such genre experts like Umberto Lenzi ("Almost Human", "Violent Naples") or Enzo G. Castellari ("The Big Racket", "Street Law") that are chock-full of spectacular car chases, bloody shootouts and brutal execution sequences, but don't really feature an actual waterproof plot. "Revolver" contains all these delicious cult ingredients as well, but in much smaller portions and instead focuses a lot more on the very realistic and absorbing plot. Vito Cipriani works as the head warden in a prison and has a beautiful wife named Anna. When he returns home from work one day, he discovers that Anna has been kidnapped by unknown men that demand Vito to arrange the release of the relatively small-time crook Milo Ruiz. Vito arranges for Milo to escape from his cell, but then promptly takes him hostage himself, in order to ensure that the kidnappers keep their promise rather than to just kill Anna and flee. Things go wrong quite quickly, especially because Milo honestly doesn't know who would want him to be released from jail and righteously suspects that they are foes rather than friends Co- writer/director Sergio Sollima might have been the least known and praised Sergio of his generation (next to the legendary Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci) but he was undoubtedly multi-talented, creative, intelligent and VERY underrated. The scenario of "Revolver" literally almost bursts with themes like political corruption, abuse of power, betrayal, dark human behavior and shocking confessions. This is the type of movie that doesn't exactly make you cheerful or helps you to restore faith in humanity. Particularly the surprise ending is perplexing and even more depressing! The great (late) Oliver Reed is perfectly cast and it's truly a shame that he didn't travel to Italy more often to appear in Poliziotteschi movies. He receives terrific support from the always reliable Fabio Testi and a few unknown but familiar Italian faces. And then, oh my God, there is the phenomenal soundtrack! The main theme Un Ami/Un Amico definitely ranks among Ennio Morricone's finest pieces of art (and he made many highlights) and it makes me emotional every single time. Fans of more recent extreme cinema will recognize it as well, perhaps, since none other than Quentin Tarantino selected this brilliant song to feature on the soundtrack of "Inglourious Bastards".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The premise had so much promise: of a government official, Oliver Reed,
who surreptitiously allows a prisoner to escape and quickly abducts him
as exchange for his kidnapped wife.
While there are a few great moments, some involving the convict, Fabio Testi, showing gruff and glum Reed (described as "a dog without a home") the ways of thiefdom, which should have been more of the film, the side characters, like a popular folk musician oddly connected to the bad guys, and long bouts of plodding (badly looped) dialog, muddle the lean storyline.
Reed, with a scowling catfish countenance, is more than watchable, while Testi's much too pretty as a believable challenger. Although their ultimate camaraderie, which builds throughout, does seem genuine and works for the poignant climax.
Iconic composer Ennio Morricone, known for his usually intense Spaghetti-Western soundtracks, evokes a flowery, era-dated score more befitting a frolicking light comedy.
I had long wanted to catch this poliziottesco (which has never turned
up on Italian TV) but was ultimately rather let down by it: the plot
involves a buddy buddy partnership between two unlikely characters –
prison warden Oliver Reed and petty criminal Fabio Testi. Director
Sollima had already made the superior THE BIG GUNDOWN (1966) on similar
lines (the “Cult Movie” website claims this is a remake of it but I
don’t buy that, as the narrative takes a wholly different direction).
The film, however, isn’t quite as engrossing as it should be and rather muddled into the bargain – but, at least, it looks good and is undeniably bolstered by a beautiful and typically effective Ennio Morricone score (reminiscent of his work, much later, on THE UNTOUCHABLES !). Reed is an ideally sturdy yet world-weary hero – but Testi is just okay in the role of his quarry/associate (though the English dubbing may have undermined his original performance), especially as he displays little of the cunning and deadly prowess which had characterized the Tomas Milian counterpart in THE BIG GUNDOWN…and, in any case, he’s ultimately established to have been merely a pawn in the game being waged! The female cast is comprised of lovely Agostina Belli (as Reed’s young wife, who’s kidnapped so as to ensure his collaboration) and Paola Pitagora (somewhat wasted as an underworld ‘groupie’ who briefly hooks up with Testi).
Even if the film doesn’t have the socio-political scope of THE BIG GUNDOWN, this element is belatedly introduced towards the end – leading to a curiously downbeat (and cynical) finale. While not plentiful, the action sequences are certainly as efficiently handled as any in this type of film (Sollima made at least one more poliziottesco – VIOLENT CITY , which I’ll be getting to soon); still, the director seems less at ease within the ‘urban jungle’ landscape than he was in the wide-open spaces provided by the Spaghetti Western milieu.
The main supplement on the Blue Underground DVD is a 13-minute featurette consisting of separate interviews with Sollima and Testi. Among other things, the former admits to having been roped in at the last minute and claims that he finally agreed to make it on detecting connotations with another Spaghetti Western of his – FACE TO FACE (1967). Testi, a regular of action movies, takes pride in having done most of his own stunts (in fact, he had started out in films in this field!). Both, then, have complimentary things to say about the late Oliver Reed. There are also two Easter Eggs – one in which Sollima criticizes the film’s half-hearted publicity campaign (which he blames for its lack of box-office success), while the other is yet another anecdote pertaining to the film’s notoriously hell-raising British star.
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