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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

BThe Most Beautiful Wife aka "La moglie pił bella" [Blu-ray]

 

(Damiano Damiani, 1970)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Produzioni Atlas Consorziate (P.A.C.)

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:48:40.555 

Disc Size: 36,878,919,271 bytes

Feature Size: 30,735,372,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: August, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1799 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1799 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1799 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1799 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1655 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1655 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond (45:43)
Introduction by Director Damiano Damiani (1:00)
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:37)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Director Damiano Damiani's The Most Beautiful Wife (La Moglie Pił Bella, 1970) stars the then 14-year-old beauty, Ornella Muti, as a real-life Sicilian girl who dared to challenge the local Mafia. Instead of acceding to a malignant old custom allowing a young Don to kidnap and rape a prospective bride, she puts her foot down and goes to the police, unleashing the rage of the mobsters, but also the disapproval of her family and neighbors. Highlighted by a score from the great maestro, Ennio Morricone, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.

 

 

The Film:

An interesting film that mixes up crime, drama and human interest The Most Beautiful Wife really centers around its female lead, Ornella Muti. Not only is she completely gorgeous in this film but her performance is excellent as well making her the perfect choice for the part. We can see quite easily why Vito obsesses over her and while that hardly forgives his reprehensible actions the audience is at least able to understand why he wants her so much. Alessio Orano is also quite good as Vito, playing the role of the rather reprehensible spoiled brat quite well. We know he’s been raised in and around the mob so it makes sense that he’s turned out the way he has but he’s still a dirtbag and Orano’s performance ensures that this is never too far from our minds.

Damiano Damiani’s direction is strong and the pacing is pretty tight. While he seemed to have made a career out of making more politically tinged thrillers such as How To Kill A Judge or socialist leaning westerns like A Bullet For The General his work could sometimes come close to but not quite hit the mark. Here, he nails it dead on in terms of what he’s saying and how he is saying it, proving that when done well politics and entertainment can make for good bedfellows. The film is as much a critique of the permissiveness of the ‘system’ as it is anything else but what makes it work is that you’re not necessarily concious of that fact until it’s over with. We’re not beat over the head with his message, instead we’re left to think things over for ourselves.

Excerpt from RochShockPop located HERE

This superior crime drama from 1970 is based on the real-life Franca Viola, a Sicilian teenager who defied the combined wrath of both the Mafia and her community. Viola was kidnapped and raped as a way of forcing her to consent to marriage. She held out against social pressure and death threats until the offender was convicted. Damiani’s script changes the names but stays with the facts, turning the grim story into a compelling drama.

The prolific Italian director Damiano Damiani found success in a number of genres, including a memorable horror film from a story by Carlos Fuentes, 1966’s La strega in amore. At the center of La moglie pił bella (The Most Beautiful Wife) is Damiani’s fourteen year-old discovery Ornella Muti, who brings everything needed to the role.

Excerpt from Trailers from Hell located HERE

 

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

The Most Beautiful Wife comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals support a lot of grain.  Colors show some richness and there is even depth but the most film-like quality is the texture. This Blu-ray gives a consistently strong presentation in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio - probably as good as it will get for this film.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1799 (24-bit) is offered in both original Italian and and, less effective, English DUB. Effects carry hollow depth. The impressive score is 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.) and is another excellent one by the esteemed composer and supports the film, and sounds gritty, in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Also found on the old NoShame DVD we get the documentary; Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond that has interviews with Damiano Damiani, Mino Giarda, Antonio Siciliano and others running over 3/4 of an hour. There is a short introduction by director Damiano Damiani, Twilight Time's usual Isolated Score Track and a trailer. The package has liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 Copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Most Beautiful Wife is a above average Italian crime-thriller. It deals with an unsavory topic but has some redeeming character nobility and it is genuinely entertaining.  The Twilight Time Blu-ray provides as good an a/v transfer as we are likely to find and appreciated supplements including the documentary, isolated score and liner notes. It's a solid package of a very intriguing and watchable film - certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 15th, 2016

 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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