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Distributor: Arrow Academy

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Region: Region Free

Length: 02:06:13

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio: 2.0 Italian Linear PCM Audio (48 kHz, 16-bit)

Subtitles: English SDH

Ratio: 1.85:1

Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Notes: This release includes a DVD edition of the film.

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“Property is theft.” -Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

According to Elio Petri, Property is No Longer a Theft. It is a disease. This offbeat and extremely political satire concerns the exploits of a bank employee named Total (Flavio Bucci) who is actually allergic to money. Total’s world spins out of control when he decides to shatter a corrupt and therefore affluent butcher’s universe by taking various trophies that symbolize his wealth and power. The film is a comedy—but this particular brand of humor is always dryer than the Sahara and just as dark. Viewers who enjoy this unique brand of comedy will no doubt enjoy the film—even as it becomes apparent that things aren’t going to end well.

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The Presentation:

4 of 5 Stars

Arrow Video houses the Blu-ray and DVD discs in a rather sturdy clear Blu-ray case with a reversible sleeve showcasing newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh on one side and the film’s original one-sheet design on the other. Surprisingly, the newly commissioned artwork is the superior choice. This reviewer usually opts to flip the sleeve to feature the one sheet art, but this is a rare exception.

There is also an attractive illustrated booklet containing a new essay on the film by Camilla Zamboni entitled “A Grotesque Entanglement of Property, Power, and Desire.” Zamboni’s essay is a scholarly and analytical examination of the film that adds to one’s appreciation of the film. The included still photos and artwork make looking through the booklet that much more enjoyable and add value to the entire package.

[Note: The aforementioned booklet is only included with the first pressing of this particular release.]

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The animated menus utilize footage from the film and music from the score. They are reasonably attractive and easy to navigate.

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Picture Quality:

4.5 of 5 Stars

Arrow Academy’s high definition transfer is the product of hours of digital restoration work. The included collector’s booklet details the specifics of this restoration:

Property is No Longer a Theft (La proprietà non è più un furto) was restored on behalf of The Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino and the Cineteca di Bologna from the original negative. The film was scanned at 4K resolution from the original camera negative and digitally restored in 2K resolution. The audio was sourced and restored from the optical negative. All restoration work was completed at L’Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna.” –Collector’s Booklet

These efforts in addition to Arrow’s maxed out bitrate provide an impressive image that is both clean and detailed. In fact, the level of detail is surprising considering that this is a film made in Italy in the 1970s. These are especially noticeable in the medium shots and close-ups. What’s more, the image showcases an admirable amount of depth and certain scenes showcase rather vibrant coloring. The there is a nice natural-looking layer of grain that adds a film-like texture to the image without becoming unwieldy.

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Sound Quality:

4 of 5 Stars

Arrow’s 2.0 Italian linear PCM audio mix isn’t as dynamic as some of the more robust contemporary mixes coming out on Blu-ray, but it serves the film nicely and seems to be a clean and faithful reproduction of the film’s original mix. The lossless nature of the mix assures that compression issues never plague the track while giving the various elements (dialogue, effects, and Ennio Morricone’s score) some room to breathe.

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Special Features:

4 of 5 Stars

At a glance, Arrow Academy’s supplemental package might look a bit anemic when compared to some of their other releases, but looks can be deceiving. The disc includes 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 24 seconds worth of pertinent video-based interviews and each is well worth the viewer’s time. Each interview is in Italian with English subtitles.

Interview with Claudio Mancini (Producer) – (23:33)

The most substantial and interesting of the three interviews is the one with Claudio Mancini who remembers working with Elio Petri and some of the challenges they had to overcome during the production (including one involving striking workers on another set). He also reveals that some of the film’s success was probably due to some of Daria Nicolodi sexier scenes. The entire conversation makes for an informative and surprisingly breezy twenty-three-and-a-half minutes.

Interview with Flavio Bucci (Actor) – (19:46)

Flavio Bucci is on hand to give an actor’s perspective about the production and his revelations are almost as engaging as Mancini’s as he too shares his memories about working with Elio Petri on the film.

Interview with Pierantonio Mecacci (Make-up Artist) – (23:05)

Pierantonio Mecacci—who has worked on a number of films by Dario Argento—worked on Property is No Longer a Theft as a make-up artist. His interview offers yet another perspective on the film’s production and should interest fans of the film.

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Final Words:

Those who wish to experience a political satire saturated with an abundance of black comedy should check out this somewhat obscure Italian classic!

Review by: Devon Powell

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