Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Revolver (1973)

Just a quicky review today, as I have not had time to watch anything else lately. I've had another short story accepted to an anthology, and I've been busy with editing and moving on to the next story that's due! Very exciting, but not conducive to watching movies!

Revolver is an Italian production directed by Sergio Sollima and stars Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi and, while a little muddled and a little slow in places, still kept my interest throughout. I'm sure a good part of that is simply that Oliver Reed is just so damned entertaining to watch. The basic plot concerns a prison warden, Vito Cipriani (Reed), blackmailed into freeing prisoner Milo Ruiz (Testi) when his wife is kidnapped. He takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps Milo in turn, in order to gain insurance that his wife will be returned to him, then quickly finds out things are not what they seem. Plot twists, an unlikely partnership, and bloody mayhem ensue.

Things I liked: The partnership between Vito and Milo that starts out of exepedience and turns into genuine friendship. It's played naturally and really well by the two leads, and I liked it. I liked the story line with its conspiracies and twists. I liked the European shooting locations. I liked Ennio Morricone's score. I like the ending. I really like two Oliver Reed moments in particular, one where his character balks at trespassing. It's a lovely character moment, considering he's trying to illegally cross the border, not to mention he's stepped outside the law in several far more serious ways by that point. And there's a moment where he drives away from a random bystander wounded in a gunfight and asking for help. Vito's upset, he hesitates, and he still has to drive away, and it's very nicely done. Very haunting. It's one of those decisions you know will give his character nightmares later.

There was also one really neat line of dialogue which sort of sums up the theme of the film:

"Society has many ways of defending itself: with red tape, prison bars, and the revolver."

I like that a lot. It's used in the trailer, and I can see why. It's a nice hook.

Things I didn't like (and groaned over): the horrible 1970's clothing some of the characters are wearing... egads. Seriously, I'm not sure there was a worse fashion era than the '70s. Or at least, it's not my style. I couldn't even bear to take screenshots of the worst offenders. But Oliver Reed, fortunately, was not a casualty of the awful wardrobe brigade and he looked great. Almost out of place next to the eye-popping outfits he was surrounded with. Dig his warm coat with the collar turned up half the time.

I'm still a little confused over who one character was who popped up out of seemingly nowhere and I never did catch a name or who he was or how we arrived there, but okay, I'll go with it. And there was some really bad cliche dialogue a couple of times, but overall, I still enjoyed the movie. Any excuse to watch Oliver Reed be broody and angry and bust up the scenery is time not wasted.


  1. Congrats on your story!

    Yes, 70s film fashions really do take some kind of prize for "How do I take this seriously when the leading man looks so silly?"

  2. Thanks! So true on the 70's film fashions. I should have capped some of them, but my eyes! I couldn't bear it. LOL.