by Jason Minton
The Assassin - 1961
Plucked from his everyday life, Alfredo Martelli’s (Marcello Mastroianni) was a free man yesterday and today he sits behind bars accused of murder. Alfredo learns in incarceration that his wealthy, socialite, mistress has been stabbed to death and the police are convinced he did it. Alfredo’s life unfolds as he sits behind bars under police questioning. Convinced they have the right man, Alfredo is put on trial but not in a courtroom, as officers question him trying to get him to confess.
A silver screen murder mystery that’s more than a typical whodunit. This is Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s first feature film. He not only provides a murder mystery but also throws into question the ethics of what lengths to go to in order to get the truth of what happened. Something we still struggle to answer fifty-five years later. Marcello Mastroianni does an excellent job of playing a man conflicted in true silver screen fashion. This will be an excellent film to pick up for all fans of the Golden Age of cinema. Especially those fans who haven’t had the opportunity to check out Italian cinema when it was at it’s peak. Italian films of this era which mirrored Hollywood in their quality and would be a great addition for any Golden Age fan who missed it.
3 out of 5 Headless Critics
Finding features for a fifty-five years old Italian film can’t be easy but Arrow Video has provided. 2K film restoration brings the black and white film era to life. The restoration of the film to Blu-ray is excellent. Both the updated picture and sound quality is really top notch. Also included is the original theatrical trailer. Arrow has included an introduction to Elio Petri and The Assassin by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Ianonne. The crowning jewel of this Blu-ray is the documentary A Poet in the Movies about screenwriter Tonino Guerra.
3 of 5 Horror Filled Features