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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Avanti! [Blu-ray]


(Billy Wilder, 1972)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: The Mirisch Corporation

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 2:24:10.808

Disc Size: 35,825,172,237 bytes

Feature Size: 28,072,740,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.94 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 10th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1562 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1562 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






• Interview with star Juliet Mills (10:55)
Interview with star Clive Revill (14:36) Fiction factory
Trailer (2:39) and three other trailers Gallery





Description: In this hilarious romantic comedy from legendary writer/director Billy Wilder (Some Like it Hot, Witness for the Prosecution) and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond (One, Two, Three), a wealthy American (Jack Lemmon, How To Murder Your Wife) discovers true love while in Italy. This honey of a film is as delightful as the Wilder/Diamond/Lemmon classics Some Like It Hot and The Apartment. Businessman Wendell Armbruster, Jr. (Lemmon) is summoned to Italy after a car accident claims the lives of his father and his father's secret mistress. As the mistress' daughter (Juliet Mills, Beyond the Door) also arrives in town, the bodies of both of their parents disappear and the two instant foes are brought together in a baffling mystery... and an affair of the heart! Beautifully shot by Luigi Kuveiller (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) and featuring wonderful performances by Clive Revill (Modesty Blaise) and Edward Andrews (Elmer Gantry).



The Film:

This enchanting yet dark romantic comedy stars Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills as a pair of mismatched lovers helplessly drawn into a series of seemingly hopeless but humorous situations as in Lemmon's The Out-of -Towners two years earlier. Lemmon is Wendell Armbruster Jr., an overbearing American business tycoon forced to travel to the beautiful Italian island of Ischia to claim the body of his recently departed father. What begins with a rather elementary premise evolves into a succession of somber twists and turns, as Armbruster meets Pamela Piggott (Mills), the daughter of his father's mistress, who, Lemmon is appalled to learn, died alongside Armbruster Sr., while zipping through the Italian countryside in his sportscar. Even worse, the family who owns the vineyard that his father's car crashed into has stolen the bodies in exchange for damages. Although plagued with a plethora of such problems, as well as an inability to enjoy life (and the ulcers to prove it), Wendell eventually falls in love with Pamela, almost exactly as his father did with her mother.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

A sunny black comedy about a stuffy American who meets an overweight Englishwoman on the tourist paradise of Ischia. Each has come to claim the body of a deceased parent - his father, her mother - only to discover that the dead pair were lovers and to find history inexorably repeating itself. The humour (derived largely from un-stereotypical national stereotypes, plus the inexhaustible confusion over luggage, hotel accommodations and bureaucratic red tape) is sometimes a little leisurely, while the camera has a tendency to linger over the travelogue scenery. But any longueurs are more than made up for by the same strangely moving undercurrent of tenderness that Wilder brought to The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Marvellous performances from Lemmon and Mills.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Avanti! looks solid in 1080P. Colors and detail are impressive in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The source is clean, and the many outdoor sequences or Capri and the Amalfi Coast, are bright looking beautiful. There is frequent depth and the image is free of speckles or distracting marks. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.




















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1562 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There aren't many aggressive effects in the film (plane, boats etc.) - there is no credited score (is it Carlo Rustichelli?) but we can hear Italian music like Senza Fine, A Tazza E' Café, Palcoscenico and a couple of numbers by Sergio Bruni. The dialogue was always audible. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Kino include a new 11-minute interview with the lovely, 75-years young, Juliet Mills and one of Robert Fischer's Fiction Factory documentaries - an interview with New Zealand singer and character actor, Clive Revill running 1/4 hour. There is a trailer for the film and three other trailers.



Avanti! is a brilliant comedy-romance with two strangers advancing their parent's affair into the next generation. As described by Jonathan Rosenbaum: "This 1972 release is the most underrated of all Billy Wilder comedies and arguably the one that comes closest to the sweet mastery and lilting grace of his mentor, Ernst Lubitsch". It has all the charm of a Wilder/Lemon teaming and Juliet Mills is awesome and sexy. Plenty of human relationship fun in a wonderfully romantic setting. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray looks sweet in 1080P - and it offers a lot of value. You can't have enough Wilder gems on BD. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 37% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 5th, 2017



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