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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Wake Up and Kill aka "Svegliati e uccidi" aka "Wake Up and Die" [Blu-ray]


(Carlo Lizzani, 1966)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Compagnie Internationale de Productions Cinématographiques (CIPRA)

Video: Arrow Video



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:03:51.041 /  1:37:38.000

Disc Size: 48,524,243,516 bytes

Italian Feature Size: 26,899,360,128 bytes

US Feature Size: 21,297,572,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps (same for both)

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 23rd, 24th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Italian version:

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

English version:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English (SDH - for US version), English (for Italian version), none



High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentations of two versions of the film: the original full-length Italian release, and the shortened English-language cut
Italian and English soundtracks in uncompressed PCM mono sound on the respective versions of the film
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian version
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English cut
• English Theatrical trailer (1:18)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist.

Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Robert Curti, author of Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980

DVD of the film(s)



1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



Description: During the 1960s Luciano Lutring committed more than one hundred armed robberies in Italy and on the French Riviera. To the media he was the machine gun soloist , a name he d earned as he kept his weapon in a violin case. To the public he was a romantic figure, one who only targeted the wealthy, stealing more than 35 billion lire during his criminal career.

Wake Up and Kill was the logical extension of such fame. It became the first feature to commit Lutring's story to celluloid, shooting having begun mere months after his eventual arrest. Capitalizing on the breakthrough success of his performance in French television's The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Robert Hoffmann is perfect as Lutring, bringing just the right amount of charisma and youthful exuberance to his first major big screen role.

Directed by Carlo Lizzani (Requiescant), scored by Ennio Morricone, penned by the future screenwriter of Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, and featuring that film s star, Gian Maria Volonté, in a key supporting role, Wake Up and Kill's true-crime thrills serve as an enthralling dry run for the poliziotteschi movies that would follow a few years later.


1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



The Film:

Luciano Lutring, a petty Italian thief, jumps from a window to escape from a police roundup, leaving behind a stolen machine gun he had planned to sell in the black market. A Milan newspaper picks up the minor incident under a banner headline, and Lutring suddenly gains the reputation of a major criminal. Crimes he never committed are blamed on him and he becomes known as "The Elusive Shadow." While the police cooperate with the newspapers to dupe more dangerous criminals into believing that all police efforts are directed toward capturing the thief, Lutring himself begins to believe his own publicity and, for the first time in his life, starts shooting to kill. His wife, Yvonne, a former stripteaser, realizes that the only way to save Lutring is to turn informer, so she offers to help the police capture him. Lutring, now as crafty as his myth purports him to be, eludes the trap that is set for him and escapes to France. As both the Milan and Paris police chiefs compete in their attempts to capture Lutring, Yvonne crosses the border secretly in the hope of saving her husband; but Lutring, now an irrational, bloodthirsty criminal, is shot and captured.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond beyond minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.


Wake Up and Kill gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films. The package offers both the original Italian version (2 hours) and a 26-minute shorter US cut in English. It is not seamlessly-branched but the transfer is technically (very similar bitrate) as robust and looks identical (see our matching captures below.)  The beauty of this 1080P is the thick, consistent, grain and the image quality reflects solid contrast exhibiting tight colors and an occasional semblance of depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's clean with only a few speckles or frame-specific marks. This Blu-ray does a wonderful job of exporting both movies in a very, textured, film-like presentation.




1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow (Italian version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM













Audio :

Both Italian and English tracks are transferred in linear PCM (16-bit). There are aggressive effects beyond gunfire including screeching cars and explosions. A big positive would the score by Ennio Morricone (A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) which sounds typical for the poliziotteschi genre. Some may predictably notice some sync issues in the dialogue but I wouldn't say they were overly distracting. There are optional English subtitles for the Italian version and optional English (SDH) subtitles for the English version with some variance in translations. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE (well, 'A' + 'B').


Extras :

Besides the English version - there is a hideous quality, and short, English theatrical trailer, the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist, an illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Robert Curti, author of Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980 and there is a second disc DVD included.



Wake Up and Kill has an appealing style - very 60's, very Italian, very Lizzani. The portrayal is interesting and encouraged me to look up some data about Lutring - which actually adds some flavor to my viewing and I will probably re-watch it one day soon. The Italian version does seem to have elongated sequences but I don't mind and probably preferred it to the English version. The Arrow Blu-ray provides a super a/v presentation but I'd have liked some video supplements - or a commentary but the price reflects its lack of them supplements. For those keen on the poliziotteschi genre - this would be a pre-cursor that is definitely worth indulging in. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

November 24th, 2015



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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