British distributors Arrow Video have detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of Italian director Elio Petri's directorial debut The Assassin a.k.a. L'assassino (1961), starring Marcello Mastroianni, Micheline Presle, Cristina Gaioni, and Salvo Randone. The release will be available for purchase on July 21.
Released within months of Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Antonioni's La Notte, Elio Petri's dazzling first feature L'Assassino also stars Marcello Mastroianni, this time as dandyish thirty-something antiques dealer Alfredo Martelli, arrested on suspicion of murdering his older, far wealthier lover Adalgisa (Micheline Presle). But as the increasingly Kafkaesque police investigation proceeds, it becomes less and less important whether Martelli actually committed the crime as his entire lifestyle is effectively put on trial.
Best known for Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and The Tenth Victim, Petri was one of the finest and yet most underrated Italian directors of the 1960s and 70s. Highly acclaimed on its original UK release but unjustly neglected since, L'Assassino is a remarkably assured debut from one of the cinema's sharpest chroniclers of Italian social and political realities. Petri said that he wanted to reflect the changes wrought by the early sixties, and to examine "a new generation of upstarts who lacked any kind of moral scruple".
Arrow Academy is proud to present the first ever UK video release of L'Assassino in a gorgeous high-definition restoration created by the Cineteca di Bologna.
New 2K digital restoration from the Cineteca di Bologna
Uncompressed Mono 2.0 PCM Audio
Elio Petri and L'Assassino, an introduction by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone
Tonino Guerra: A Poet in the Movies: Nicola Tranquillino's documentary about the great Italian screenwriter
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jay Shaw
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Elio Petri expert Camilla Zamboni, Petri's own critical analysis of 1950s Italian cinema, plus a selection of contemporary reviews