CRITERION has released on of the best Italian films of the '70s on blu-ray, "INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION." Director Elio Petri's film deservedly won an Academy Award for Best Foreign film, and like many great films of the '70s, it exposes the pervasive corruption of law enforcement and government.
After an opening in which a man violently kills his mistress, flashbacks reveal he's actually a police inspector. As the narrative plays out, with many well-defined flashbacks, we recognize this is a man who is intentionally doing virtually everything possible to be pegged as the killer, but he's aware due to his position, it's unlikely he'll every be arrested or considered, hence he's "Above Suspicion."
From today's perspective, some viewers will undoubtedly find moments to be too politically one-sided, but this doesn't prevent "Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion" from being a brilliant film.
CRITERION has done its utmost to present the film with a dazzling blu-ray transfer. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio is retained in this MPEG-4 AVC encoded blu-ray. Scanned in 4k resolution from the original 35mm negative, colors are well saturated. While the film's design doesn't lend itself to vibrant colors, the image always appears natural. Contrast is also excellent with great detail retained even in frequently dark scenes. It's a fantastic transfer!
Purists will appreciate the audio mix retains the original mono mix. The clarity of this mix is impressive from beginning to end, proving mono mixes can still be impressive without having to resort to 5.1 remixes. Dialogue is always free from distortion and the score from Ennio Morricone ranks with his best.
Along with a illustrated booklet about the film, CRITERION has included numerous supplements.
"Investigation of a Citizen Named Volante" is a terrific documentary about the lead actor, presented in 1080i and with English subtitles.
Another engaging documentary about Director Petri, a trailer and other supplements are all worthwhile.