Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Illustrious Corpses – Kino Lorber (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1976
Director: Francesco Rosi
Writers: Francesco Rosi, Tonino Guerra, Lino Iannuzzi, Leonardo Sciascia
Cast: Lino Ventura, Tino Carraro, Marcel Bozzuffi, Paolo Bonacelli, Alain Cuny, Maria Carta, Luigi Pistilli, Tina Aumont, Fernando Rey, Max von Sydow

Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 121 Minutes 1 Second
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Rating: PG
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $24.95

"A detective assigned to investigate the mysterious murders of some Supreme Court judges. During the investigation he discovers a conspiracy that involves the Italian Communist Party." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.25/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

The 4K restoration of Cadaveri eccellenti used two first generation reversal elements and the Italian magnetic sound mix, both provided by MGM.

Two 35mm vintage prints, preserved by the British Film Institute, were used as a reference for the color grading."

Illustrious Corpses comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 37.7 GB

Feature: 36.2 GB

The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors look correct, image clarity and black levels look strong throughout and there are no compression related issues.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced.


Extras for this release include a trailer for Illustrious Corpses (3 minutes 23 seconds, DTS-HD mono Italian with non-removable English subtitles) and an audio commentary with filmmaker Alex Cox.

Other extras include trailers for The Sicilian Clan (2 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), A Pain in the Ass (1 minute 45 seconds, DTS-HD mono French with non-removable English subtitles), The Hunter Will Get You (2 minutes 28 seconds, Dolby Digital mono French, no subtitles) and Farewell, Friend (4 minutes 2 seconds, DTS-HD mono French with non-removable English subtitles).


1970’s Italian cinema did a great job making political thrillers that mirrored what was going on in Italy at that time. Though Italian cinema in the 1970’s often injected politics and social commentary. The most potent Italian political thrillers are substance over style.

Illustrious Corpses was directed by Francesco Rosi, a filmmaker whose filmography is filled with social and political commentary. Notable films directed by Francesco Rosi include Salvatore Giuliano, Hands over the City and Three Brothers.

From its opening moments, Illustrious Corpses has a relentless tone that builds to a fever pitch by the time its unforgettable finale arrives. The premise of a series of assassinations by an unseen assassin who manages to stay one step ahead of the law is superbly realized. And the narrative does a great job maintaining the mounting tension.

All around, the performances are outstanding, especially Lino Ventura’s (Army of Shadows) portrayal of an inspector who’s given the task of uncovering who’s behind the assassinations. He delivers a solid performance that allows the audience to see the events that are unfolding through his eyes. Ultimately, Illustrious Corpses is a thought-provoking political thriller whose last spoken words, "The truth is not always revolutionary." serve as a perfect coda.

Illustrious Corpses makes its way to Blu-ray via a strong audio/video presentation and an informative audio commentary, highly recommended.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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