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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • A 1996 interview with director Alberto Lattuada by filmmaker Daniele Luchetti
  • New interviews with the director's wife, actress Carla Del Poggio (Variety Lights), and son Alessandro Lattuada
  • Trailers for the original Italian release and the 2007 U.S. rerelease
  • Gallery of promotional caricatures by artist Keiko Kimura

Mafioso


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Alberto Lattuada
Starring: Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell, Gabriella Conti, Ugo Attanasio, Carmelo Oliviero
1962 | 102 Minutes | Licensor: Rialto Pictures

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #424 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: March 18, 2008
Review Date: July 31, 2008

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SYNOPSIS

In Alberto Lattuada's brilliant dark comedy Mafioso, auto-factory foreman Nino (Alberto Sordi) takes his proper, modern wife (Norma Bengell) and two blonde daughters from industrial Milan to antiquated, rural Sicily to visit his family and get back in touch with his roots. But Antonio gets more than he bargained for when he discovers some harsh truths about his ancestors-and himself. One of the first Italian films to look frankly at the Mafia, Lattuada's devastatingly funny character study is equal parts culture-clash farce and existential nightmare.

Forum members rate this film 7.5/10

 

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PICTURE

Mafioso is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc, enhanced for widescreen televisions.

The black and white image for this release looks fantastic. It’s sharp and crisp, incredibly clean. Black levels are quite strong and contrast is good presenting strong gray levels. Detail is very good, though some longer shots can come off a little fuzzy. The print has been cleaned up quite a bit and there are very few flaws. An excellent looking transfer from Criterion.

8/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Mafioso presents a surprisingly active Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track, though it is overkill at times. The opening music that plays over the credits has been cranked a bit, coming off a little harsh. The rest of the track plays much better, presenting distinct dialogue, and strong music with decent range. A solid if at times overdone mono track.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

For a lower priced release Criterion have thrown on some good supplements, specifically a few great interviews.

First up is a 1996 interview with director Alberto Lattuada by filmmaker Daniele Luchetti from a segment called Ritratti d’autore, presented in 1.33:1 and running about 16-minutes. It feels a little brief but is still quite charming as Lattuada discusses such subjects as why black and white is better than colour, shows off gifts from Luis Buñuel, and talks a little about his own work. The most amusing bit, though, has Lattuada reminisce back to a time where one could pee right in the theater (apparently.) Not a great, in-depth interview but worth watching still.

The next 8-minute interview, enhanced for widescreen televisions, is with Lattuada’s wife Carla Del Poggio, who talks a bit about the director, including how they met. She also talks about her father, Ugo Attanasio (who plays the don in the film) and offers some anecdotes from the set, including Lattuada’s excitement involving where the climax is shot. Another interview with their son, Alessandro Lattuada, focuses on his father’s work and some of his influences. He also talks a bit about the film Mafioso and offers some insights into the main character of Nino. This interview is also enhanced and runs about 7-minutes. Both interviews are decent and give some decent insight into the director.

A gallery of caricatures used for promotion of the film’s re-release are also included here with descriptions. You use the arrows on your remote to scan through them. The gallery also has a brief bio on the artist, Keiko Kimura. It’s a short gallery but I rather liked the images and am glad they were included here.

Closing off the special features are the original theatrical trailer and the Rialto re-release trailer.

Under the “Subtitles” section you’ll also find a short 50-second introduction that apparently played at the beginning of the film during its re-release. This intro explains certain Sicilian words have not been translated and then goes on to give an explanation as to what certain words mean and ends with an amusing little warning. They decided not to include it with the main feature but I’m glad they still decided to include it as a separate feature.

And this closes the release’s features. Not a lot but for a lower-tier release there’s still quite a few informative extras.

6/10

CLOSING

I thought the audio was overkill at times but the video transfer looks great and the few supplements offer a little bit of information about the director and this film making this DVD a good value.


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