Friday, January 20, 2023

Frame Up – Cineploit (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1968
Director: Emilio Miraglia
Writers: Massimo De Rita, Dino Maiuri
Cast: Henry Silva, Beba Loncar, Keenan Wynn, Carlo Palmucci, Pier Paolo Capponi, Luciano Rossi, Larry Dolgin, Charlene Polite, Roberto Maldera, Lella Cattaneo, Bill Vanders

Release Date: November 28th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 99 Minutes 15 seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English, German
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: 29.90 EUR

"Ex-Inspector Sterling (Henry Silva) is looking for the killers who killed his son and an informant in his hometown San Francisco. The informant was shot in front of him with his own weapon. Sterling was not charged for this, but he had to resign from the police force. He knows the two perpetrators, but the true identity of the mastermind in the background, whom he knows only by the nickname Charlie, is still in the dark...." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.25/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Worldwide 2K Blu-Ray Premiere!"

Frame Up comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 32.5 GB

Feature: 28.1 GB

The source used for this transfer is in great shape. The colors are nicely saturated, the image looks crisp, the black levels are strong, the compression is very good, and the image retains an organic look.

Audio: 3.5/5 (DTS-HD Mono Italian), 3.25/5 (DTS-HD Mono English)

This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD mono mix in English. Both audio tracks have background hisses that vary in degree throughout. Also, the English language track has a few other minor imperfections. That said, the dialog comes through clearly enough to follow, and everything sounds balanced. Range-wise, both audio tracks are limited, with the English track sounding more robust than the Italian track. Also, there is one line of dialogue in Italian when watching in English, and it is translated if you turn on the subtitles included for the Italian language track. Included with this release are removable English and German subtitles for the Italian language track.

Extras:

Extras for this release include an image gallery (17 images-posters/lobby cards/home video art/other promotional materials), an option to listen to Robby Poitevin’s eighteen track score (43 minutes 49 seconds), alternate English language opening credits under the title Frame Up (2 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital mono), an archival interview with actor Henry Silva titled European Adventures (24 minutes 46 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), a double-sided poster with 2 Italian motifs, and a media book packaging that contains a twenty-eight-page booklet with a bio for director Emilio Miraglia (text in German & English), an essay titled Henry Silva Goes Poliziesco written by Udo Rotenberg (text in German & English) and images from the film (lobby cards/posters).

Also, this release also comes with multilingual menus, English and German.

Summary:

Frame Up was directed by Emilio Miraglia, who has only six films to his credit. Other films directed by Emilio Miraglia include Assassination, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times.

It is interesting to see how 1960s Eurocrime cinema evolved into Poliziotteschi cinema. In the 1960s, Europe saw multi-country productions that tried to look like they were being made in Hollywood. By the 1970s, when Eurocrime in Italian cinema evolved into Poliziotteschi, these films had a more local flavor to them. That said, despite their differences, Eurocrime and Poliziotteschi are birds of the same feather.

From a production standpoint, it is easy to draw many similarities between Frame Up and Emilio Miraglia’s previous film, Assassination. Both films have Henry Silva (Cry of a Prostitute) in the role of the protagonist, and cinematographer Erico Menczer (The Cat o' Nine Tails) and composer Robby Poitevin (The Hired Killer) worked on both films.

The narrative revolves around a police inspector who is kicked off the force after being accused of killing his informant. The same people who have framed him for killing his informant are also responsible for murdering his son. Not willing to let go, he searches for the truth at all costs.

Though Frame Up features a strong cast, they are all very good in their roles. The main attraction is Henry Silva in the role of Sterling, a former police inspector. Henry Silva was a fabulous actor who took full advantage of his time working in Italian cinema. And with Frame Up, he delivers another brooding performance that is in line with the type of performance he is synonymous with. 

Other notable cast members include Keenan Wynn (The Night of the Grizzly) in the role of the Sterlings' former supervisor, Pier Paolo Capponi (Seven Blood-Stained Orchids) in the role of a reporter named O’Neil, and Luciano Rossi (Death Walks at Midnight) in the role of a sadistic killer named Randolph.

Frame Up is a film that fully exploits its resources. The premise is well-executed, the narrative does a great job alternating between the present and flashbacks that provide more backstory, and a strong ending provides a satisfying conclusion. Another strength are the visuals, which take advantage of the San Francisco locations. That said, the most surprising aspect of Frame Up is how brutal the moments of violence are when considering when it was made. Ultimately, Frame Up is an engrossing film that has all the elements that one has come to expect from Eurocrime cinema.

Frame Up makes its way to Blu-ray via a strong transfer from Cineploit, and it comes with a fun and informative interview with Henry Silva, which is recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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